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tired teacher

Utah | Member Since 2009

854
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 205 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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227

  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, David Hewson, A. J. Hartley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (980)
    Story
    (979)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "A Great Way to Learn This Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is extremely well written by a couple of Shakespearean professors who really know what they are talking about. The story of Macbeth is relative simple, and these two brought it to life for me. I will read the Shakespeare play now that I am very familiar with the story. Although a tragedy, I enjoyed this book very much.

    The narration is also extremely well done and certainly added to the enjoyment of this book. I wish these authors and these narrators would do more of Shakespeare's stories.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (172)

    The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some information about the audiobook, but in this case we think that would spoil the listening. We think it's important that you start to listen without knowing what it is about.

    Jessica says: "Much Better than the Movie"
    "Everyone must read this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books you can't stop listening to until you are finished. It is powerful and heartbreaking and scary. There is layer after layer of meaning in this story, enough to keep a good book club going for a year at least. It is one I will be thinking about for a long time to come. At first I thought it was going to be a children's book, but it was soon evident that it wasn't the case. Yet, I'm not sure it is an adult book either. I guess it is just a book, a very profound and powerful book. It deals with concentration camps during WWII through the eyes of a 9 year-old German boy who lived just outside the camp fence. It is a very interesting point of view and a real eye-opener! Luckily it is a relatively short book so you can finish it in one or two sittings. Otherwise your life will have to go on hold until you finish it. Can't stop thinking about it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Antonia

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Willa Cather
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (184)

    Through Jim Burden's endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds. Guiding the way are some of literature's most beguiling characters: the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia's desperately homesick father and self-indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard. Holding the pastoral society's heart, of course, is the bewitching, free-spirited Antonia.

    Tammy says: "Enthralling!!"
    "Good book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "My Antonia" (emphasis on the "i") has been on my "to-read" list for a very long time. Oddly, I ended up with three versions of this book: Physical book, Kindle edition, and audio. I read all of them simultaneously. (I love doing that!) It is beautifully written by the great Willa Cather, and I understand it is very much autobiographical. Basically, it is the story of the Great Melting Pot, how foreign born families immigrated to the United States, specifically the Great Plains, and did their best to fit in, make a living, and give their children an opportunity that could not be had anywhere else in the world. It was not an easy life. These families left everything they knew, even their native languages, to come to the great unknown, with the promise of a better life. My own great-grandparents left Denmark in the late 1800s, in a similar time frame and reason as the people in this book, and brought their three young sons with them, boys who would never know their native land, or ever see it again. That takes guts, and these were gutsy people. Antonia was a strong, smart girl who grew up to raise a big family in the best way she knew how. I admire her.

    With all this said, it is not the most compelling book I have ever read. Yes, I cared about the characters, and was involved with their lives, but it is not a serious page turner. It is an easy read, and may be best read by a young adult. In my opinion, it is a good book, and has many elements that make it very worthwhile reading. I just don't think I would categorize it as great. The narrator of the audio book was good, but not great either. He was easy to listen to and did a good job of reading it, but I was always conscious of his reading. He didn't suck me into the story the way a really great narrator can.

    Bottom line: I really enjoyed it and would recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about pioneers, and how our country became "e pluribus unum."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kim

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Madhav Sharma
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (43)

    Set in the days of the British Raj, Kipling's finest novel is the exciting and touching tale of an Irish orphan-boy who has lived free in the streets of Lahore before setting out, with a Tibetan Lama, on a spiritual quest. Kim later enrols in the Indian Service and simultaneously embarks on an espionage mission of supreme importance.

    Carol says: "Fabulous Narrator"
    "It takes time and effort to understand"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    . . . But well worth it. First off, this is the narrator to listen to! I sampled all the narrators available, some being masters that I am well acquainted with, but none came close to Madhav Sharma. This is a performance to savor as he masterfully molds the story of "Kim" into everything Kipling set out to make of it.

    I sophomorically kept waiting for the big conflict, the big rift, the big disaster to really draw me into this book. About half way through, I realized none would come because this is a story about relationships, contrasts and coming of age. It is about trust and mistrust, love and loss, devotion and betrayal. It is not a story to speed through, but to be savored and thought about. I found myself listening and then relistening to many chapters, as I read along in the ebook (easily attainable for free). I could never have enjoyed just reading this book, in large part because of the strange names which I could never understand nor pronounce correctly, and also because of my total ignorance of the native inflections that Mr. Sharma so masterfully performed, and which gives so much meaning to the story. On the other hand, I could never have just listened to it because many of the words, being unfamiliar to me, could never have made sense to me no matter how well pronounced without my seeing them and in many cases, looking them up. Following along with the written word was the best of both worlds for me, and really helped with my understanding of the book.

    Beautifully written with a beautiful moral, no wonder it is a classic. I don't usually reread fiction, but I will probably read this one again.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Follow the River

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Alexander Thom
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (223)

    Mary Ingles was 23, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen.

    Marie says: "Amazing tale of survival"
    "Wow! Based on a true story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! What a story! I was completely caught up in this story for most of the book. I was a bit surprised to find, after I had read the whole thing, that this story is based on fact. That makes it all the more amazing. Mr. Thom did so much great research on this story and then put together a compelling work of fact fleshed out by his own imagination. He lost me a little bit when the character Mary climbed over mountains for several days in a row stark naked in freezing weather with no food. I kept thinking, "If it is so cold that a rock cannot be budged from the frozen ground, surely this naked woman cannot survive for more than several hours without any kind of shelter and no food for any kind of energy." But survive she did. I also found myself thinking that with a river running right by her and a whole forest on both sides, surely a woman as smart and resourceful as she was could figure out a way to find food, start a fire (although understandably she did not want to so she wouldn't be found) and make herself some kind of covering. But even with that inconsistency, I really enjoyed the story. **Semi-spoiler alert:** I do have to add that I understand why she left, but will never understand how she could leave her children. Perhaps she intended to go back after them, but that did not happen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Dean Koontz
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (80)

    In a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment. Whether chasing a tennis ball or protecting those she loved, Trixie gave all she had to everything she did....

    Amazon Customer says: "A very good read"
    "A very good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What can you say about a dog book? Especially if it is non-fiction but has all the elements of a good novel? I really enjoyed this book and getting to know Trixie. My only drawback is that maybe the Koontzes have gone a big too far, authoring books "by Trixie" and all that. Also, one statement that got to me was their asserting that no human child was loved more than they loved their dog. Now granted they never had children of their own so don't really have anything to compare it to, but that is a statement that is over the top. I have had children I love and I have had dogs that I love. If I had to make a choice, there would be no choice. Dogs can be trained to be much better behaved!

    Haha jk. As much as I have loved some pets, it comes nowhere close to the love of a parent for a child. But on the other hand, sometimes I think my dog Harley is my only friend. His loyalty to me is mind-boggling, and I am grateful to have him as a companion through thick and thin right now. It is always "thick" for the dog, even though I want to kick his little hairy fanny sometimes. If you are really a dog lover, look up a youtube video called "God and Dog" by Wendy J. Francisco. It sums up the human/canine relationship pretty well, and I always get choked up when I see it.

    Koontz reads his memoir himself, and does a great job of it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Watchers

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By J. Charles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1650)
    Performance
    (941)
    Story
    (957)

    From a top-secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose....

    Katie says: "Great book; so-so narrator"
    "Better than I first thought"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I ended up liking this book better than I thought I would. It seemed like it should have ended several chapters before it ended. At about that point, he lost me at "There was only one bullet left in the gun." Just too stock. I almost gave it up then, but kept going and I'm glad I did because it actually turned into a pretty good read. I found myself missing the characters once I had finished it. This isn't generally my kind of book, but I can see that for people who really like this genre, they might just love this one.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3763)
    Performance
    (1223)
    Story
    (1220)

    Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine.

    Kelley says: "Smokin'"
    "Sedaris is a very funny guy"
    Overall
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    Story

    I think David Sedaris is extremely funny, and also a very deep thinker. He has a way of writing that both entertains and makes you think. He has absolutely no compunction, which I like, but sometimes he gets a little rank, and for me at least, crosses that line of what is in good taste and what just shouldn't be said. I forgave him of his imperfections a long time ago, not that it is my place or job to do that, but in my mind at least, I just accept him for what he is. And what he is is brilliant with human frailties, not so different from me. Minus the brilliant part. His books, which he narrates himself, are not for everyone so be advised if you are easily offended. But if you want some side-splitting laughs coupled with some very deep and meaningful writing, perhaps like me, you can look past the human aspect and into the heart of a great writer. There you will see much to be learned.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Clean

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Narrated By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (133)

    Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room - the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home and her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends.

    Margaret says: "Vicarious Hoarding"
    "Hoarder!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who knew that being the daughter of a compulsive hoarder would precipitate so much dysfunction? This is an eye-opening book written by the only child of a man who could not throw anything away, and a woman who was a compulsive shopper. Not a good combination. The reasons for these dysfunctions are deep-seated and hard to remove. As part of her journey, Kimberly had to accept the fact that they would probably never change. It was a rough journey for all of them, but beautiful to watch as Kimberly was able to achieve her own goals. Very well written and narrated, this book was a great listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Louis Gossett, Jr.
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (532)

    In this riveting landmark autobiography, which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York; Washington, D.C.; and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and 12 years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Fran H. Willingham says: "I've waited for this a long time"
    "A Compelling Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To think that this is a true story is just heartbreaking. And of course heart warming in the end. I had never heard of this book until recently, probably because of the recent movie based on this story. I have not yet seen the movie, but am looking forward to seeing it soon.

    This man, Solomon Northup, deserves respect and admiration from everyone. He handled his situation about as well as it could be handled, but more importantly, he never gave up his hope of freedom and seeing his wife and children again. Intelligent, well-spoken, and classy in so many ways, he was despised by lesser white men who were determined to hold him down and to claim that they "owned him."

    Many nations can look back on certain parts of their history with shame and embarrassment, and the USA is no exception. Slavery is a mark upon us and our history that we have to live with, but we don't have to perpetuate. Although we as a nation and a people have come a long way since 1853, there are still those who continue to hate and mistreat others because the color of their skin is not to their liking. This can be said of people on both sides of the issue. Isn't it about time that this whole nonsense stop and we fulfill the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and love people because of the content of their character? Let's teach our children to be better than this horrendous history that destroyed so many valuable lives. It is really the only way we can affect a true change.

    Louis Gossett Jr. is an amazing narrator, at times making me believe that he was Solomon Northup. Certainly he must have known the man, and yet it is not possible. So good!!!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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