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MaryAlice

I am a chaplain at a local hospital. I belong to a book club. When I'm not at work I play handbells and sew.

Binghamton, NY, United States | Member Since 2008

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 74 ratings
  • 170 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • The Art of Presence

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eckhart Tolle
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (112)

    In The Art of Presence, Eckhart guides you through seven hours of transformational insights that allow "presence to naturally arise" in you. With his one-of-a-kind instruction, you will learn how to ground yourself in the vibrancy of your "inner body" while simultaneously breaking free from the illusion of separation from the outside world.

    Lawrence says: "A Mature Piece"
    "A Week-end Retreat"
    Overall

    I listened to this lecture over a week-end as a retreat. The unhurried nature of Tolle's voice, his silence and his humor all made for a relaxing and educational experience for me.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1288)
    Performance
    (1132)
    Story
    (1114)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "A bit of a let down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from M. L. Stedman and/or Noah Taylor?

    I might give Stedman another chance, but I am not interested in hearing Noah Taylor again. During the book I kept wondering when he was going to wake up and tell a story. I think there was a story in this book. Noah read as if he were reciting the Periodic Table. Perhaps that is the way men talked after the war, or perhaps Noah was trying to tell us just how wounded Tom is.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best about this story was the end. It did seem right that Lucy Grace wanted to find these people and have a relationship.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Noah Taylor?

    Steve Martin, forget about trying to duplicate the Aussie accent.


    Could you see The Light Between Oceans being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I don't see this book as a movie. The characters were too flat. I'm trying to decide if it was the writing or the way it was read.


    Any additional comments?

    I just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I was very impressed with her writing style and the way she described events, people and feelings. This book was a let down from that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jan-Philipp Sendker
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (500)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (421)

    When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

    Monica says: "Basic Story Interesting, But..."
    "Contrived and Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my book club's choice for our January meeting. I listened to it twice between Thanksgiving and New Year's. As I listened for the first time, it seemed to be filled with unfinished stories: why was Judy brought it at all? How come the brother never makes an appearance? Do 3rd world families really treat handicapped children as gifts? The second time listening, I wondered it the author had trouble fixing the story to meet the end he wanted. Although Tin Win was honest with his American wife about his feelings, he did not win my admiration as a character. The love story was drowned under the bad writing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Painted Drum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    When Faye Travers is called upon to appraise the estate of a family in her small New Hampshire town, she isn't surprised to discover a forgotten cache of valuable Native American artifacts. However, she stops dead in her tracks when she finds in the collection a rare drum, ornamented with symbols she doesn't recognize and dressed in red tassels and a beaded belt and skirt, especially since, without touching the instrument, she hears it sound.

    Kathy says: "Worth sticking with"
    "Hurting and healing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Louise Erdrich has composed a beautiful story about life. As Faye, the main character reflects on her life, she is drawn into other lives past and present. Finding and keeping the drum in order to find it's "true owners" provides the opportunity for Faye to learn more about herself and her mother. The writing is succinct, but not spare. I thought the narrator did an excellent job with this book. At one point, I had to check the narrator because I was convinced it was two narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10609)
    Performance
    (5844)
    Story
    (5887)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Swimming Upstream"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I discussed this book with a friend who had read it and not cared for the story. "Which story was true?' she asked me. Who cares? I said. The big part of this book was Pi's struggle, coming to terms with and using his spiritual life. That was the thread that connected all the unconnected pieces together. Pi's open mindedness was refreshing. He saw no problem with being a practicing Hindu, Muslim and Christian. Would that more of us felt that way! As to which story is "true?" I like to believe the one with animals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4057)
    Performance
    (2605)
    Story
    (2632)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Listen to this Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book should be required reading in high school. In it, Skloot covers biology, history, family dynamics, socio-economic problems and ethics. I enjoyed this story and the way it's told. I had to put it down often to absorb the story and deal with my feelings. I experienced, shame, anger, pride and pity among others. The narrator is sensitive to the flow and energy of the book. She's relating a story, a true story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5117)
    Performance
    (2902)
    Story
    (2940)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Great Story: family strife, travel and history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book contained many of the items I love in a good story: there was travel to 3 continents, the US, Australia and England. It was multi-generational covering four generations of women in a family. It had a hint of mystery. Careful listening and remembering details will help the listener unravel the mystery. It was a book within a book in that the stories of the fictional authoress were part of the story. The story stretched from the 1920's to present day and wasn't told in chronological sequence. There was a touch of romance, not entirely unexpected and not surprising, either. If you grew up loving fairy tales, as I did, this is a wonderful read. It's both magical and realistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Without a Country

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr)
    • By Edward Everett Hale
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    An officer accused of being a traitor says he "never wants to hear of the United States again". His wish is granted - and ends up being a terrible punishment.

    MaryAlice says: "Be careful what you wish for"
    "Be careful what you wish for"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this short story to a friend. It puts a fresh perspective on our current attitudes toward patriotism in the United States. I think this story would make great discussion for young people. This story exemplifies the heartache that can happen when we speak in the heat of the moment. A calm head and a moment's thought could have changed the character's life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best thing about this story is that it is short. It can be listened to in just over an hour between longer listens.


    What does Jim Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jim's voice is pleasant to listen to. He did not sound judgmental during the reading.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Speak in haste, repent at leisure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur Golden
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3627)
    Performance
    (955)
    Story
    (964)

    In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
    "Truly Memorable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Memoirs of a Geisha rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very close to the top. The narrator was clear. The words of the book drew the most fantastic pictures.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I know very little about Japan and their lifestyle. I hope this book was historically accurate as well as compelling. I had a hard time stopping it once I started.


    Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

    Memaiha. A strong, confident woman willing to help another. She was clever and she knew how to use it.


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

    I laughed and cried. I was sorry when it ended. What happened to Sayuri's sister? Although Sayuri's story was done, it didn't seem finished. A lot like real life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23237)
    Performance
    (9860)
    Story
    (9931)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Swedish Ingriue"
    Overall

    I just loved that this book tells the story of a private investigator who is not the main character. Or is she? The other stories within this story weave together to paint an incredible picture of love, hate, greed, anger and shame.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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