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PJ

Eustis, FL, United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 89 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Abandoned Prayers: Murder, the Amish, and Little Boy Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Gregg Olsen
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska, buried him as "Little Boy Blue", unclaimed and unidentified-- until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect.

    Eagle's says: "YUK, Don't waste your time or your money!!"
    "Interesting story, but confusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was interesting, but it was so complex with so many different characters, I had trouble keeping track of who was who and what their role was in the story. It was a true story, so it is what it is, but I can't help thinking that some of this could have been edited down to make for a better flow. I was not put off by the sexual detail as I think this was central to the main character. The performance was solid. It was worth a listen, but not something I'm going to tell everyone they need to hear or read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1820)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (762)

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "Well-written, well-read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book when I wasn't sure I would. Some of the aspects of the plot are predictable, but the author does an excellent job of weaving together the present with various stages of the main character's past. Very well performed and overall an enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5797)
    Performance
    (4168)
    Story
    (4189)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Poetic, masterful, engaging, one of the best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ah, this is what a book should be! I think this book is enhanced by hearing it because of the poetic language and the fair amount of German phrases. Superbly written with a story line that slowly pulls you in. The book is clever in the integration of the ordinary with the extraordinary. The narrator was superb.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doc: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (461)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (331)

    The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail 26-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.

    Dennis says: "Great writing and narration"
    "A great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was superbly written and performed perfectly. The combination made for such an entertaining listen that I was sad when it was over. I was transported by the combination and would recommend this book to anyone, including my husband who does not read fiction. This is historical fiction at it's best. Writing and performance that are both nuanced. One of the other things that was so good about this is that it focused on the characters, their development, and their relationships. There was action, but it was secondary to a book about people and the stories we don't know behind the story we do. But we can imagine the conversations, the feelings, the day-to-day life and Ms. Russell did this very, very well. It made for an excellent, entertaining read

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David M. Kennedy
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (101)

    Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This Pulitzer Prize–winning history tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities. The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s.

    Ray says: "Good summary of a pivotal time."
    "No real information about the people"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was really about American politicians. My husband and I, who love this period of American history, found this book to be dreary and dragging. The book was all about the economics and politics with very little about what the American people went through and did. The narration contributed to our lack of interest in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4735)
    Performance
    (2569)
    Story
    (2600)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Ho-hum, saved by narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be boring. The plot was very predictable. The main characters were one dimensional. The ending was unforgettable and very easy to figure out. There was no suspense. This book could have used a good editor. I found many of the story elements repetitious. The narration was excellent and the only thing that kept me listening to it in the hopes that it would improve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Nick Heil
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (160)

    In early May 2006, a young British climber named David Sharp lay dying near the top of Mount Everest while forty other climbers walked past him on their way to the summit. A week later, Lincoln Hall, a seasoned Australian climber, was left for dead near the same spot. Hall's death was reported around the world, but the next day he was found alive after spending the night on the upper mountain with no food and no shelter.

    Don Lance says: "Good summary of the 2006 season"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, even if I got a little lost with all of the various persons from all over the world. It was a fascinating look at tragedy on Everest (yet again). I changed my mind about how I felt and thought about certain aspects of that situation based on this book. The in-depth analysis of all the factors was excellent. (I'm trying not to reveal too much here in case people don't know the story). This book was not as well-written as "Into Thin Air", but it was still good and definitely worth the credit. It held the interest of both my husband and me. The narrator does a good job with the different accents, which helps a bit with keeping people straight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3539)
    Performance
    (3012)
    Story
    (3006)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "Entertaining enough, but not a stand-out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was just okay. The narration was very good, but the writing was average and the story and characters were somewhat predictable, except....the end, which saved this book from being a waste of time. Somehow, I found the ending very satisfying, while the rest of the book was not so satisfying. I think it would be an okay beach read, but there wasn't a lot of tension until the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (756)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (270)

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"
    "A compelling story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David McCullough writes so well this flows like fiction. He is well-detailed, but doesn't overwhelm. Edward Hermann's performance is wonderful--he's so easy to listen to. I had known almost nothing about the Johnstown Flood and found this to be a great listen. My husband and I listened on a long trip and it kept us both engaged and eager to find out what would happen next. It also stimulated a lot of discussion for us. Would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Norman, Elizabeth Norman
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (381)

    For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history. The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book.

    Parusski says: "Riveting and heartbreaking"
    "Powerful, a must for anyone interested in WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highly recommend this for it's excellent story-telling and vivid accounting of the Bataan Death March and after-effects. I appreciated the authors weaving in flashbacks to "previous life" as it gave a break from the accounting and provided a stark contrast to the POW experience. I thought the book was well-performed (although we did speed it up just a little). My husband and I read, watch and listen to many books and documentaries about WWII and think this one is just terrific. It is horrifying, yet inspiring as you listen to the stories of the triumph of humans and the human spirit in the face of an horrific experience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1150)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (527)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "Tedious, a missed opportunity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story had way too many statistics and too few stories of the people affected by the epidemic. He missed a great opportunity to tell a compelling and vivid tale by continually throwing percentages at us. That would be okay, except he's billing this as an epic story and there really was no story here. I learned a lot, but it was dry. The reader did a good job with dry material. That said, it's an important part of history that I had previously been only vaguely aware of, so I'm not sorry I listened to it. I think I've been spoiled by other writers. Would love to see this same issue in the hands of a real story-teller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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