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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
  • 157 reviews
  • 479 ratings
  • 631 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Sherman Alexie
    • Narrated By Sherman Alexie
    Overall
    (1303)
    Performance
    (779)
    Story
    (782)

    Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then - convinced his future lies off the rez - the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away.

    FanB14 says: "Absolutely Entertaining Memoir"
    "Outstanding--must read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alexie immediately grabs you with this story of Spokane tribal member and high school student Arnold Spirit, aka, Junior. Written in the first person, it is believable from the beginning and you think that Alexie is telling his own story.

    Taking place mostly over Junior's freshman year, this book is a coming of age story as Junior learns more about himself and the world around him. There are thought provoking subtexts of the nature of friendships, redemption, and choice.

    Some may be put off to the multiple references to masturbation, but this is a story about a 14 year old boy. With that warning, I think this book could, and maybe even should, be read by all 13+ year olds.

    4 of 6 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
    (1033)
    Performance
    (889)
    Story
    (890)

    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
    (168)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (157)

    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
    (4971)
    Performance
    (4585)
    Story
    (4597)

    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
    (294)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (260)

    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
    (2602)
    Performance
    (2292)
    Story
    (2306)

    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
    (193)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (143)

    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
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (888)
    Performance
    (815)
    Story
    (807)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "Way better than the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyable story of a young Indian boy who loves to cook and his experiences as a boy, apprentice, and chef. Touching, humorous and delightful are words that come to mind. And hunger. This book made be hungry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3342)
    Performance
    (2939)
    Story
    (2947)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "It's a toss up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I'm up in the air on this book. On the one hand, I did enjoy the author's search for meaning as she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the stories of the people she met, the struggles she overcame. On the other hand, she ended up on the PCT on a whim decision after using drugs, sleeping around and divorcing her husband. She showed up on the trail ill prepared and benefited from others throughout her experience because she was a pretty female hiking alone. As if they get all things good. So, maybe read it, maybe not. I both liked it and found it frustrating at times. It's a toss up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delicious!: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Ruth Reichl
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (169)

    In her best-selling memoirs, Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must finally let go of guilt and grief to embrace her own true gifts.

    Jill says: "a great story"
    "Truly delicious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a delightful little surprise this book was. Lighthearted, yet meaningful. Predictable, yet purposeful. As the main character, Billie, struggles with coming to grips with the ghosts who haunt her, she finds escape and purpose through the 70+ year old letters from a girl during WWII, written to the great chef James Beard. Not sure if it's the foodie, NY lover and romantic in me that enjoyed the book best, but it was a great combination for me. Well done, Ruth Reichl!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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