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Elizabeth

A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2007

101
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 160 reviews
  • 482 ratings
  • 638 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Christmas in Plains

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jimmy Carter
    • Narrated By Jimmy Carter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Following the hugely successful memoir of his boyhood, An Hour Before Daylight, Jimmy Carter remembers Christmas in Plains. This very special day provides a source of spiritual inspiration, respite, family ties, friendship, vacation fun, and the simplicity of community.

    Elizabeth says: "Thoughful, but can be frustrating to listen to."
    "Thoughful, but can be frustrating to listen to."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jimmy Carter narrates this collection of memories of Christmases past. While his voice does not provide me with the most pleasant narration, there is something to be said for someone telling his own story in his own voice. This was a quick listen and I enjoyed learning more about Carter's life through his Christmas memories, which are touching, humorous and inspiring. Carter doesn't boast, but looks back on his life with reflection and gratitude. Regardless of your political persuasion, this is worth some of your time during the holiday season.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Harris
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

    Robert says: "Had a lot of fun with this book!"
    "Detailed and well researched, but a bit much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to REALLY like this book--a historical look at Hollywood's role in WWII, specifically with directors sent into the European and Pacific theatres to film the action for propaganda and training films. I enjoy this genre of writing as well as stories of Hollywood and WWII, so this book should have been perfect. In the end, it was just too much. It was so well researched and detailed that for this listener/reader I was overwhelmed with the detail and lost the larger story of how Hollywood directors supported the war. I think I would have enjoyed an abridged version of this book. The details of 20 hours of listening was a turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Glennon Melton
    • Narrated By Glennon Melton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    Anne Lamott meets Elizabeth Gilbert in this inspirational, side-splittingly funny exploration of the power of living with love, forgiveness, and honesty. Glennon Melton became a sensation when her personal essays started going viral. Giving language to our universal (yet often secret) experiences, her hilarious and poignant observations were read by millions, shared among friends, discussed at water coolers, quoted in The New York Times, and have inspired a social movement.

    Molly says: "Get Ready to Exercise your Bookmarks"
    "Personal and encouraging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mostly, I liked this book. It came at the right moment when I could truly hear most of what she was saying, learn from it, and apply it to my life. Her stories are personal and gut-wrenching at times. And at times, for me, the way she framed some things was a bit too sarcastic for me. Maybe it wasn't sarcasm so much as a dry humor that was a bit of a turn off at times. I got through those moments and am glad I finished the book. I was challenged and encouraged in many ways that I needed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amy and Isabelle: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Strout
    • Narrated By Stephanie Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    With compassion, humor, and striking insight, Amy and Isabelle explores the secrets of sexuality that jeopardize the love between a mother and her daughter. Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student in a small mill town, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality. When discovered, this emotional and physical trespass brings disgrace to Amy's mother, Isabelle, and intensifies the shame she feels about her own past.

    Elizabeth says: "Offensive, disappointing and poorly written"
    "Offensive, disappointing and poorly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are many reasons I didn't like this novel, including both subject matter, story and writing style. Regarding the subject matter, I was offended by the explicit sexual descriptions of a relationship between a teacher and student. Not only do we not need to create more stories around the topic, we also do not need detailed descriptions. Beyond that offensive part of the book the overall story was weak and lacked a compelling theme. Two main stories were explored: the one of Amy and Isabelle and then a side story of people at Isabelle's work that should have just been edited out. Finally, the writing style was poor. In addition to having too much story in there, tidbits of the future beyond the book were given, and in a way that was not interesting as to what might take place in the future, but was just another random piece of information that continue to detract from the book. Skip it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of Flowers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    • Narrated By Tara Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1043)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (900)

    A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude.

    Diana - Audible says: "You don't need a green thumb to enjoy this one"
    "A pleasant surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't remember what inspired me to buy this book, but when I found it in my library I was a little leery of it. Re-reading the synopsis did not draw me in. However, it was next up in the library, so I began listening to it. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and how quickly it drew me in. The past and present of Victoria's story are intertwined through this novel, using the Victorian meaning of flowers as a story-telling mechanism. Enchanting and interesting. I loved it to the last minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • China Dolls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Jodi Long
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (163)

    It's 1938 in San Francisco: A world's fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade.

    Mary says: "Need a different reader!! Where is Janet Song??"
    "Not as good as See's other works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    China Dolls is not as interesting and compelling book as Lisa See's other novels. This book tells the story of three young "orientals" who meet in San Francisco in the late 1930s, and the journey of their lives over the next several decades. The story at time seemed forced and not as natural as those in See's other novels. The narration is fair at best and did not help to bring life to each character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By P. M. Forni
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In Choosing Civility, P. M. Forni offers twenty-five rules for connecting effectively with others - at home, at work, and in our daily encounters.

    Elizabeth says: "Probably a better read"
    "Probably a better read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The information in this book is good, but I think it might be a better read than a listen. From the narration it seems that the actual book might be one of lists, highlighted boxes, and standard texts. This did not translate well into an audio book. I did finish the book, but am contemplating on getting a print version as reference and to skim over to see what I "lost in translation."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5011)
    Performance
    (4619)
    Story
    (4631)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not sure what the hype is about"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is clearly well loved by others, as evidenced by its four star rating and the written comments. For me, this book missed the mark. It wound in circles and never went anywhere. When I read that this was meant to be a short story and then got longer, it made sense to me, as much could have been edited out to create a simpler, more cohesive tale. Or, if you consider the comments of other reviewers, I must not have had much of a childhood if this book didn't speak to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, David Livermore
    • Narrated By Professor David Livermore
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (271)

    Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.

    Quaker says: "Quite possibly my favorite of The Great Courses"
    "An interesting delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Great Course is an interesting and informative exploration of customs and cultures of the world. With the 30-minute chapters it is easy to listen to in chunks, with insights to each cultural theme or region gained at the end of the chapter. This Great Course would be an asset to anyone, whether an international traveler or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sheryl Sandberg
    • Narrated By Elisa Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2625)
    Performance
    (2311)
    Story
    (2323)

    Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO, ranked eighth on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business - has become one of America's most galvanizing leaders, and an icon for millions of women juggling work and family. In Lean In, she urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.

    Claudia says: "Make your life count - no matter what you do"
    "Powerful and insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went into this book with trepidation. After all, I didn't want to hear a feminist tell me that either I could, or could not, "have it all." Instead what I experienced was a personal and insightful book about the limitations we as women often put on ourselves, such as the expectations we set for ourselves, our failure to speak-up, and the divisive way we often treat one another.

    Sandberg shared her experiences, and those of others she talked to. When offering a generality she even provided her own counterexamples, when such a thing existed. Her writing is not judgmental, but rather enlightening. She opened my eyes to some of my own behaviors and attitudes.

    I recommend this book, especially to women in leadership roles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Water Is Wide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (145)

    The island is nearly deserted, haunting, beautiful. Across a slip of ocean lies South Carolina. But for the handful of families on Yamacraw island, America is a world away. For years the people here lived proudly from the sea, but now its waters are not safe. Waste from industry threatens their very existence – unless, somehow, they can learn a new life. But they will learn nothing without someone to teach them, and their school has no teacher.

    P. Giorgio says: "Anything Pat Conroy writes is wonderful to me."
    "A sad state of affairs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Conroy shares his experience teaching on an isolated island off the South Carolina coast in the 1960s. Truthfully, I'm not sure if it was the writing on the story that makes me rate this a 3 (it was ok) versus something higher. You can imagine what his teaching experience on an isolated island, largely left alone by modern day, was like: poor families, students who could not read and did not know that the name of their country was the United States of America, an education system controlled on the mainland that treated this remote island and its students as second, or even third, class citizens, and the list can go on. To his credit, Conroy devoted himself to the students and island, realized that they needed additional experiences and opportunities, and took risks to get his students what they needed, which of course gets him fired. It's sad, and even a little embarrassing, to me that we have allowed lesser education for needier students in our country in the past, as detailed in this story. And I'm not naïve, it's probably still happening today. This book came to me highly recommended, and I would simply recommend it. It's not near the top of all the books I've read, but it was a good read.(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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