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Gayle Hallgren-Rezac

I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.

Vancouver, BC | Member Since 2003

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 788 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By William Knoedelseder
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (154)

    The engrossing, often scandalous saga of one of the wealthiest, longest-lasting, and most colorful family dynasties in the history of American commerce—a cautionary tale about prosperity, profligacy, hubris, and the blessings and dark consequences of success. This engrossing, vivid narrative captures the Busch saga through five generations. At the same time, it weaves a broader story of American progress and decline over the past 150 years. It's a cautionary tale of prosperity, hubris, and loss.

    Jeremy McGough says: "Couldn't stop listening..."
    "Don't Have to Care About Beer to Enjoy this Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bitter Brew the most enjoyable?

    This history of Anheuser-Busch is fascinating, the wealth, the power and the disfunction. A very well-written, page turning history lesson. One character is more fascinating than the next. I am waiting for someone to do a cable series on this family.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Most of the characters were flawed and that made the story more compelling.


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

    Peter Berkrot is an excellent narrator. Doesn't get in the way of the story, no over-acting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Close Range: Wyoming Stories (Selected Unabridged Stories)

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Annie Proulx
    • Narrated By Frances Fisher, Bruce Greenwood, Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in this collection of stories about loneliness, quick violence, and wrong kinds of love. In "The Mud Below", a rodeo rider's obsession marks the deepening fissures between his family life and self-imposed isolation. In "The Half-Skinned Steer", an elderly fool drives west to the ranch he grew up on for his brother's funeral, and dies a mile from home.

    Susan L. Stewart says: "A Wonderfully Ironic and Surprising Read"
    "Best Short Story Collection on Audio Bar None!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Close Range?

    Don't even get me started on the amazing Annie Proulx and her powerful stories including those in Close Range. One short story is more amazing than the one before. But in this case, it's not just the writin', it's also the readin'.

    I think when it comes to books most people probably say the same thing about audio books that they say when a book comes out as a movie: "The book was better." Not in this case. The narrators are splendid, they have the most wonderful voices. My vote would be that Francis Fisher, Bruce Greenwood and Campbell Scott just read all audio books ever produced. There are no better narrators.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Jess Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (226)

    A few years ago, small-time finance journalist Matthew Prior quit his day job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse. When his big idea - and his wife's eBay resale business - ends with a whimper (and a garage full of unwanted figurines), they borrow and borrow, whistling past the graveyard of their uncertain dreams.

    Suzn F says: "Our Economy is In Trouble and How to Win? Not!"
    "Gone Guy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Financial Lives of the Poets in three words, what would they be?

    Jess Walter's writing reminds me of Gone Girl. Funny, contemporary, "a male voice". (OK more than three words). Jess Walter is the male version of "chick lit" (and I mean it in a nice way). Not only is his storytelling is brilliant, he one of the best narrators. He has a great voice but Jess, please don't give up your day job writing books. I am waiting for your next one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • East of Eden

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1262)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1103)

    This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

    Suzn F says: "Epic story of Love and Loss"
    "Classic, well read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about East of Eden?

    If you haven't read East of Eden, this audio version is very good. John Steinbeck's brilliance shines through in this epic story. The characters are truly unique. A hooker without a heart of gold is a woman not often described in such chilling way. This is classic American story well worth the time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2612)
    Performance
    (2347)
    Story
    (2346)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Bernadette you lost me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Bernadette was such a difficult and unlikeable character that even with her cute kid as a sidekick the story fizzled. WIth audio books the author has to tell a great story with characters you care about or you fall asleep, which is easy to do in AudioBookland.

    What would I change about the book? See para above.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (443)
    Story
    (443)

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
    "Masterful story, Masterful narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3 again? Why?

    The story of how this book was finally completed is a tale itself. Paul Reid has done William Manchester proud. Winston Churchill was a fascinating and complex person with such a rich and long life that he is definitely a handful for any biographer. Between these two amazing authors this third volume of Churchill's life is told with effortless ease (which we know was not the case for the authors). And the narration is splendid. No 'eating the scenery'.

    I would listen to it again, I will also read the book.


    1 of 1 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
    (1377)
    Performance
    (1211)
    Story
    (1191)

    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."
    "Interesting Story, I'm OK with Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    It's an interesting story of a crossroads in the lives of two people and the consequences of an action. I loved the story being set at a lighthouse, the isolation, the dynamic between the husband and wife. I didn't feel as strongly about the narration as many other reviewers. Listen to a sample and decide for yourself.

    I probably wouldn't read/listen to the book again, but I might go to a movie--right director, right actors...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Runaway

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (168)

    In best-selling author Tracy Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape. Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.

    Tom says: "unjustified perseverance got me through"
    "Waiting for the Quilt Code and it Never Happened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I usually enjoy Tracy Chevalier's books but I kept waiting for the connection between the quilt making and the use of quilts as a code* used by the Underground Railroad to help slaves find their way to Canada and freedom. Here's a quote from Sarah Ives in a National Geographic article: "Two historians say African American slaves may have used a quilt code to navigate the Underground Railroad. Quilts with patterns named "wagon wheel," "tumbling blocks," and "bear's paw" appear to have contained secret messages that helped direct slaves to freedom, the pair claim." I wonder why this was not part of the story? It would have made for a much more compelling tale, and because this use of quilts and symbols are fairly well known, I would think other readers would have been waiting for the same thing.*Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad


    What was most disappointing about Tracy Chevalier’s story?

    Waiting for Chevalier to make the 'quilt code' part of the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Didn't enjoy the narration all that much and the use of 'thy' and 'thee'. We got it that they were Quakers and this was distracting. Maybe it worked in the book, but not as an audio book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not, unless screenwriters super charged it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (992)
    Story
    (1009)

    On May 13, 1945, 24 American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s best-selling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through.

    Janice says: "Facinating history"
    "This is a Wow! story, and a true one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Lost in Shangri-La rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This tale ranks in the top 10% of the stories I have listened to over the past 2 years. Three of 24 souls survive the crash of of a C-47 sight-seeing moral-boosting flight in the fastness of Dutch New Guinea. The pilots discovered a high-altitude mountain lush 40-mile valley, inhibited by primitive but friendly (to them) natives. Survivors were stranded for 7 weeks, with nowhere for a plane to land, no trails or roads. How did they get out you ask? You won't believe it, but with Gliders! No kidding...


    What other book might you compare Lost in Shangri-La to and why?

    Unbroken, a WWII story of survival.


    Which character ??? as performed by Mitchell Zuckoff ??? was your favorite?

    The WAC Corporal and the Parachute Battalian Captain


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

    No, just fascinated...


    Any additional comments?

    Would make a great movie today... Nicole Kidman could play the corporal

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Covey
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Covey
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (252)

    The 8th Habit is the answer to the soul's yearning for greatness, the organization's imperative for significance and superior results, and humanity's search for its "voice". Profound, compelling, and stunningly timely, this groundbreaking new audiobook of next level thinking gives a clear way to finally tap the limitless value-creation promise of the Knowledge Worker Age.

    T.L. says: "It really does take it to the next level"
    "Leadership Plus"
    Overall

    By Darcy Rezac, Author: Work the Pond! I teach Leadership and The Secrets of Positive Networking. This is the best book on Leadership since Koestenbaum. Not only does Covey summarize key works on Leadership, he summarizes his own 7 habits. The power of finding your voice, stepping out of your comfort zone and empowering others to do the same is awesome. Covey's best book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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