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Claudine

ESCONDIDO, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jenna Miscavige Hill
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (656)
    Story
    (656)

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

    Tim says: "The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology"
    "An Amazing Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Beyond Belief?

    The story was captivating because it was all true and literally beyond belief. What happens in Scientology is unimaginable and really needs to be stopped. It is hard to believe that this can occur in our society today.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beyond Belief?

    Learning what kind of life the children at the ranch had to live. The responsibilities and lack of contact the kids had with their parents makes you wonder what was going on in the parents heads!


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

    A lightness in her voice that helps keep the book from being very depressing and dark.


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

    It made me outraged that this continues to go on and made me feel like doing something about it. I actually went to one of the survivor websites and donated to their cause.


    Any additional comments?

    The information in this book needs to be spread far and wide so fewer people get caught in the Scientology web of lies.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6898)
    Performance
    (6315)
    Story
    (6320)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Way too long!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure how this book got so many good reviews. While the main storyline in this book is interesting and you do care about the characters - it is way too long!!! The author stops to describe the most minute details that really have no impact on the story. Don't get me wrong - I love detail and descriptions that make you feel like you are there - that you understand the places in the story - but her descriptions were so long and drawn out that they actually pulled you out of the story. I found myself getting very annoyed because the story would finally move along and then we would have to stop and listen to some description that ultimately had no impact on the story. This book could be about 1/3 of its length and be much better. In contrast I think of JK Rowling and how she is a descriptive writer but it never takes you out of the story - her descriptions pull you in further and make her stories more fascinating. Tartt's descriptiveness kept bringing me out of the story as I felt impatient waiting for the very discreet descriptive moments to finally be over. Details should move a story forward - not stop it. There were particularly action filled parts of the story where things would be getting interesting and good and then - full stop to describe some little detail. It was the most frustrating book I have ever listened to. The story was pretty good if not a bit in your face with its message about life. You must have a lot of time on your hands and a lot of patience to read this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8854)
    Performance
    (8110)
    Story
    (8160)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Wonderfully well handled difficult topic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was concerned that the subject matter would be very depressing. But the way John wrote it was fantastic! My son read the book first and highly recommended it so I read it. I loved it immediately and could see why my son did as well. I thank John Green for not writing 'down' to young adults and giving them the respect to challenge them with these topics. I am glad Mr. Green is now my son's favorite author!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bodhisattva Mind: Teachings to Cultivate Courage and Awareness in the Midst of Suffering

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Pema Chodron
    • Narrated By Pema Chodron
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (122)

    What if you could cultivate the mind of a bodhisattva -- one who has dedicated one's life to the benefit of others? According to Pema Chödrön, best-selling author and American-born Buddhist nun, you can. On Bodhisattva Mind, she examines sheshin, or "guarding alertness", and the other qualities of mind we need to develop on the path to enlightenment.

    Suzanna Davis says: "lots of people vote and don't write reviews"
    "Great place to start for beginners!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have studied Buddhism in the past and never came close to the understanding I have now through Pema Chodron's teachings. Her ability to translate into a relatable American framework is amazing. This recording is some of her best work as she delves into the heart of Buddhism with humor and authenticity. I listen to her work every day on the way to work and this audio book kept me laughing along with increasing my understanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    • Narrated By Martin Sheen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (649)
    Story
    (638)

    The Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, here elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way. Transcending the mere "religion wars", he outlines a system of secular ethics that gives tolerant respect to religion, those that ground ethics in a belief in God and an afterlife, and those that understand good actions as leading to better states of existence in future lives. And yet, with the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a claim for what he calls a third way.

    James says: "An Easy and Informative Listen"
    "This is the way of the future."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe that we as humans are capable of boundless and endless amounts of love and acceptance and the only thing holding us back are the boxes we place upon ourselves separating 'us' from 'them'. The Dalai Lama expresses the same sentiment and much much more in this book about ethics. He is stating that we need a set of ethics separate from religion. One that all religions can agree with but that does not depend on religion to exist. He believes that these ethics are a natural part of humanity and whether a religious person or not we all have the ability to live an ethical life. I cannot say enough about this wisdom and how well he speaks this truth. This Summer I will be using this book as the core of a curriculum I have created for my teenage son. I want him to understand these principals as he prepares to enter adulthood.

    On another note, the narration was a bit funny at first because I have heard the Dalai Lama speak and am also familiar with Martin Sheen. So it took a while to get used to but once I did I think Mr. Sheen did a great job.

    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
    Overall
    (2207)
    Performance
    (1977)
    Story
    (1974)

    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!"
    "Wacky... Intriguing.... Awesome..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I look for books with humor and all the reviews i read said this one had it in spades. When I first started to read the book I was not quite sure what the heck was going on because the author uses notes, texts and emails to move the story - which is quite unusual. But once the story got moving it was wild and fun and fantastic. This story about Bernadette, an awarding winning architect, will have you perplexed one minute and in stitches the next. Her characters are wonderful and take you on quite an amazing journey that I definitely wasn't expecting. It was a thoroughly 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
    Overall
    (7435)
    Performance
    (5667)
    Story
    (5681)

    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"
    "Not just a story - it's an experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am so glad that my teenage son recommended this book to me. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn't say no. But little did I expect such an amazing ride. From the 'unique' identity of the storyteller, to the choice of imagery and the performance of the narrator - this was quite an experience.

    The story was set in the backdrop of Hitler's Germany and it was profoundly poignant. The story was not about the Nazi's - it was about Leisel Meminger and her life - but you got a sense of how that time in history impacted this little girl who didn't understand what Hitler was all about.

    The author was highly adept at creating a mood in the book - from the very first sentence. But I think the fact that it was an audio book enhanced - or intensified- that mood. I think a good comparison is the difference between watching Star Wars on a TV at home or watching it at the movies in surround sound. The audio of The Book Thief was a full experience; and the best audio book I have listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And One Last Thing...

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2685)
    Performance
    (2044)
    Story
    (2040)

    Lacey Terwilliger's shock and humiliation over her husband's philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike's company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike's family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend", Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town and a media punch line....

    Ducky says: "For me this was such a HOOT!!!"
    "Light and Easy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light and easy book to read. I would categorize it as one step up from a romance novel. Its nothing that is going to make you think or challenge you with complicated story lines. But it is the kind of book that is good to take your mind away and just have a bit of fun with. If that is what you are after i think you will enjoy this book and the author's sense of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rachel Dratch
    • Narrated By Rachel Dratch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (968)
    Performance
    (892)
    Story
    (891)

    Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

    Jeanine says: "Could not stop listening"
    "Not as funny as I'd hoped."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rachel Dratch's story is interesting and the behind the scenes information about SNL and other comedians is fun to hear about. But being a comedian I was expecting alot more hilarity. I laughed out loud a few times but that was it. The hardest part for me was the break neck pace at which she narrated. I wanted to yell at her to SLOW DOWN! It was so fast in some places that I think it killed some of the comedy. I think you will really like this book if you are a big Rachel fan or you are in the business yourself. But otherwise I was disappointed with it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Carolyn Jessop, Laura Palmer
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (530)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (204)

    When she was 18 years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger - a man 32 years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn's heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church.

    Cheryl D says: "Like a train wreck you can't turn away"
    "Captivating from the first sentence!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is awash with tales that you will find difficult to comprehend. I found myself asking how these events can take place in this century in the United States of America. But they did - and still do. Carolyn Jessop enlightens us all on the frightening results of cults and how the use of fear and violence to control people lives on today. I was captivated by her life story and was pulling for her as she battled more obstacles in her young life than most of us will in our entire lives. Mind control is insidious and totally devastating. But she - somehow - broke free. This book is an important lesson to all of us on how easily people's minds can be manipulated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Vicki Myron, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Susan McInerny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next 19 years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer....

    Nancy says: "Heart touching story"
    "Dewey will forever live in your heart!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of Dewey's life will captivate you and warm your heart. It is amazing how this little fluffy orange kitten changed people's lives and a town's heart. The story lavishes the reader with irresistible tales of Dewey's antics and brings you from laughter to tears. The author also takes time to give you some background information about the town, it's history and it's destination. The only fault i give to this book is the somewhat indulgent time spent in the local and familial histories. Some of the information is important to understand the role Dewey played - but the rest of it could have been left out without damaging the story. More Dewey stories could have taken up that time. But all in all I really enjoyed my time with Dewey and his family. He will always live in my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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