I own this book and have been intending to read it for years. When I found it available on Audible, I knew that I would finally "read" it, and began listening to it. It was one of the first Audible books I purchased.
Being somewhat ignorant on the subjects dealt with in this book, I had to listen to the first hour about four times before it made sense to me, but I am so happy that I did. The rest of it was a piece of cake - very delicious. Who would have thought Homer would be so descriptive, funny, endearing and enlightening? I guess that is why this work has endured for so long.
I soon learned that the narrator makes or breaks an audio book, and Derek Jacobi is absolutely unbeatable as a narrator. I could listen to him all day. His characterizations are suburb. He made me laugh and cry. I will definitely listen to this one again and again.
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.
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.
"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."
. . . 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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