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E. Pearson

Occasional Thinker

Idaho | Member Since 2008

180
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 74 reviews
  • 143 ratings
  • 376 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8

  • The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Edith Hahn Beer, Susan Dworkin
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (805)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (433)

    Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman, so she went underground.

    Catherine says: "An Amazing Story & Narration"
    "A Definite Must"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have certainly read many accounts of the holocaust years. Sometimes I have thought I should be finished reading them, because the story has been told now, and it may not be healthy for me to dwell upon it time after time. But The Officer's Wife" has taught me that the story must be to told again and again. Itis as rich as the multitude of people who experienced it. I learned a great deal from the telling of this participant. I learned the heroic efforts of both victims and members of the dominant population. I learned how greatly small and seemingly meaningless efforts of kindness affect the world ever after. I am grateful for the insights conveyed by reading of this narrator and those who brought us the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Maureen O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (105)

    George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career.

    Julie W. Capell says: "Read for its humor & glimmers of female rebellion"
    "A Truly Enjoyable Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best thing about this book is the character development. I felt a compelling attraction and affinity to every somewhat important character. While some were easier to admire, or dislike, or simply laugh at, I felt that I possessed the same traits during some periods of my life. Eliot is possibly the most honest writer I've ever read. She makes no one fit any pre-established mold; each develops as we readers travel along. I thought several times: "Our worlds and surroundings have changed so immensely; our habits of daily life bear no resemblance," and yet, all that is insignificant. People and events are entirely recognizable in my modern world, as well as in Eliot's.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (244)

    In the tradition of the New York Times best-seller The Blind Side, The Invisible Thread tells of the unlikely friendship between a busy executive and a disadvantage young boy, and how both of their lives changed forever

    Linda says: "Amazing but painful"
    "Not Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to read this for a book group. It took me a while to begin appreciating it. Maybe halfway through. It struck me as an overly "neat and tidy" tale of a successful white woman saving a Black kid with just a little effort. I think perhaps the true story is much richer than this impression, in which case it just needed a better writer. When Maurice finally went out on his own to save and find his own purpose and possibility, the book became more inspiring. It wasn't that Schroff didn't contribute a great deal to his success, she most likely did, but we needed to SEE Maurice's character develop, and hear less about Schrop's difficulties. They can be included, but shouldn't take over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Kristine Barnett
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    Kristine Barnett’s son Jacob has an IQ higher than Einstein’s, a photographic memory, and he taught himself calculus in two weeks. At 9 he started working on an original theory in astrophysics that experts believe may someday put him in line for a Nobel Prize, and at age 12 he became a paid researcher in quantum physics. But the story of Kristine’s journey with Jake is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism. At age 2, when Jake was diagnosed, Kristine was told he might never be able to tie his own shoes.

    E. Pearson says: "Is It Okay to Like a Story, but Hate the Writing?"
    "Is It Okay to Like a Story, but Hate the Writing?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All the reviews I read elsewhere barred me out: masses of readers LOVED this story and could find no fault in it. They raved about the wisdom and enthusiasm and wonders of a mother who "discovered" that her autistic child was, in fact, a genius and helped him attain great feats. Quite a few HATED this story: they thought it was a lie, or an exercise in boasting and appeal for fame. I disagreed with all.

    My reading of the book fluctuated between astonishment, excitement, doubt, boredom, and a wish that the amazing mother would have found a capable ghost writer. I personally concluded that the story is largely accurate, and that the accomplishments and admiral insights of a dedicated mother and child motivator are mostly legitimate. In reaction to the writing itself, I felt that her plethora of unwarranted adverbs stretch otherwise interesting events into the frayed fragility of an overstretched elastic, and that her repeated description of tragic hardships is delivered with mind-numbing heaviness. Crowning this tone is the narrator's monotonous, martyr-like voice, and the author's inability to bring important characters--such as Jake--to life. in other words, we readers are allowed to "see" nothing occur, but only be told, and told, and told a long series of events. I wanted this book to end long before it did, though I waded on in honor of the truths available.

    There is a great deal of intellectual insight to be discussed--by those with merit--concerning the overall message of the author's book and the danger and hope available in examining the wisdom in some of the author's decisions as applied to autistic persons worldwide.

    There were many events that had potential brilliance in their telling. I wish I could have found more of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sunshine on Scotland Street: A 44 Scotland Street Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (161)

    Once more, we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in The Scotsman.

    Monterey Brookman says: "This deserves 10 stars!"
    "Rewarding As Always"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this book was most promising; I could happily have accompanied Angus and Domenica throughut the novel. We begin with Angus bumbling about on the morning of his wedding, and his delightful character sings. I was fine with following the many other characters about while Angus and Domenica embark on honeymoon, but I waited eagerly for their return. The book had a finality to it. I would enjoy following other characters--especially poor Bertie who needs to age a bit--but if not, I also feel satisfied and the series feels complete.

    I am surprised at needing to make one critical comment. For some very strange reason, the author--not even disguised as a character--tirades against the world of felines so loved by many readers. As a cat owner, I observe, in Smith's unwarranted ramblings off-topic, an immensely inaccurate judgement and a sad lack of knowledge and experience with these gentle animals. He calls them non-trustworthy, non-adoring, and non-companiable! He couldn't be more misguided. In all of his writings it has appeared to me that Smith is a promoter of liberality and patience in dealing with ignorance and suggests, instead, pursuing understanding of characters--and, er--pets. While I am content to believe his tribute to dogs as companions is worthy of my respect, I am sad to see that he has never been held accountable for doing the same towards cats.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (799)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (534)

    This 12th entry from Alexander McCall Smith’s New York Times best-selling series showcases the humanity and matchless wit that define Precious Ramotswe. While both Precious and Grace Makutsi are puzzled by prophetic dreams, life goes on at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Precious finds herself investigating a case of rural jealousy, while Grace inches closer to her wedding.

    Johnnie Walker says: "The End?"
    "Very Good, As Always"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was interesting entertaining, and insightful as always. I can't pinpoint why it wasn't one of the two or three all-time favorites in the Mme Rmatwse saga, perhaps only that two or three al-time favorites can't extend to all. it was a good read, well-worth the time put into listening and learning.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2247)
    Performance
    (1961)
    Story
    (1963)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Mel says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The title does't do this book justice. Destiny of the Republic was an assignment for me, and I didn't really expect much. Now that I've finished, I am so grateful to have learned about this part of my American history that I previously knew next to nothing about. The author does a masterful job of intertwining current events (of the time) with the story of President Garfield and his tragic end. So astonishing for me were the stubborn and prideful ignorance which stood in the way of Garfield's survival and what looked to be a most successful presidency. Destiny of the Republic is a book for me to read, and read again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Road from Coorain

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jill Ker Conway
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    In the 1930s, Jill Ker's parents bought a sheep farm on the western plains of New South Wales. In 1944, they lost nearly everything when a drought hit. Forced to leave Coorain, 11-year-old Jill and her mother settled in Sydney where Jill struggled to find a place for herself among Sydney's elite. Her story, both a chronicle of life in the Australian outback and the odyssey of a brilliant woman fighting the constraints of her time, offers a loving view of Australia.

    Jean says: "Fantastic book"
    "Very Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I received an education about Australia, whose history I've neglected until now. Conway's upbringing, education, and eventual departure from her homeland is most unique, while generously managing to convey for most readers connections into Conway's experiences and views. "Independent and brave" certainly sums this character's life. The writing is beautifully detailed and poetic, making the listening a delight.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story: Pivotal Moments in American History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Elliott West
    • Narrated By B. J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    This newest volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series offers an unforgettable portrait of the Nez Perce War of 1877, the last great Indian conflict in American history. It was, as Elliott West shows, a tale of courage and ingenuity, of desperate struggle and shattered hope, of short-sighted government action and a doomed flight to freedom.

    Flavius says: "New Insights Into An Old Story"
    "I Gave Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe this is an important story to be told. I'm already familiar with the Nez Perce and Chief Joseph saga, so I expected to learn more. I might try it again reading on paper, but as an audio, it was just too detailed and old-fashioned History Class style and I couldn't focus for more than a minute or two when I tried again and again to move forward. I returned the purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1818)
    Performance
    (1673)
    Story
    (1660)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Mel says: "Heavy Load"
    "Masterful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd heard that this book was important and even life-changing, and it proved true. I'm struggling right now with whether I should get the older ladies in my book club to read it too; but they're a bit squeamish and the book is--well, very true to the late 60s and Vietnam years. That was their time, but I think they missed it overall. Hmmmm, maybe that's the best reason to get us all to read it and see it again, from the true side.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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