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laurie

I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

SARASOTA, FL, United States | Member Since 2011

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 46 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 239 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
19

  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1951)
    Performance
    (1766)
    Story
    (1769)

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    FanB14 says: "Eagles Victory"
    "So much more than the wonderful movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another reviewer said the movie was "a trailer for the book," and I can't improve on that description. This book was wonderful. If you loved the film, you will find more complex, more fleshed-out characters and situations that are not as pat as a movie script demands.You'll like the book a lot more, I bet.

    The narrator nails the psychiatrist's accent, which was one of the most enjoyable parts of this Audible experience for me. The women's voices weren't as distinguishable--slightly higher and quicker than the men's, but that was OK.

    I found this to be a fascinating romance of two troubled individuals and their healing.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Meth Addiction

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By David Sheff
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (219)

    David Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view, a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.

    Before meth, Sheff's son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs, the attempts at rehabilitation, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for one another, too, lest they become addicted to addiction.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Painful and honest account"
    "A Perfect Book Perfectly Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have no personal experience with this book's subject matter. I am not an addict, and I don't have any addicts in my family or circle of friends. I chose not to have children. But I found this book so compelling, honest, raw, and magnificently written, I didn't want to stop listening to it.

    My sister, who has four children, said to me when one of her daughters was diagnosed with a serious illness, "You cannot know what this is like for me. You're not a parent." Granted. But Sheff's book gave me a much better insight into parenthood than I ever had and ever thought I would have--the intense love and cell-deep connection, the worry and anguish.

    The narrator is amazing--one of the best (if not the best) I have heard.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
    • Narrated By Kevin Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2378)
    Performance
    (2219)
    Story
    (2230)

    Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

    Mike says: "Enthralling and authentic story of valor in combat"
    "Unlikely Book for Me to Love . . . but I Did"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read No Easy Day, about the raid on Bin Laden's compound. I'm guessing a lot of people not ordinarily drawn to SEAL missions or military memoirs did. Of course I found that event fascinating, but what drew me to trying another SEAL book was details of their training to become members of this elite group. The training takes up a huge section of the book, which was what I was looking for. So many strong, driven patriots couldn't handle it, and I understand why. The ones who complete the training are just about superhuman.

    Then the book goes on to talk about missions, and the heartbreaking account of Operation Redwing had me riveted. So many times the hand of God must have intervened, like placing Marcus's rifle within reach after an explosion blows him across and down a mountainside, like his landing upside-down in a hole after another blast, so the enemies couldn't spot him, and so on.

    I found the narrator to be perfect. I totally believed him and his accent and inflection . . . except when he pronounced "either" as "eye-ther" instead of "ee-ther." When you get to know Marcus, a good ol' boy from Texas, you are pretty darned sure he would not say "eye-ther." I'm surprised no one caught that.

    That's nit-picking. Sorry. The book is great. Go for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jack Kerouac
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (494)

    Few novels have had as profound an impact on American culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free".

    Guillermo says: "My Favorite Narration and a Wonderful Book"
    "Fasten Your Seatbelts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh, man, what a gorgeous book. And if I could give Will Patton a hundred stars for his performance, I'd do it. Pretend I did. He nailed the personalities with his delivery, and when he spoke for the manic Dean, Patton read at 110 miles per hour with inflection and didn't miss a beat. Brilliant.

    The writing is astonishing. Kerouac can create a unique living, breathing character in two sentences.

    The only thing I knew about Kerouac is that he "spoke for the Beat Generation." For decades hat description held me back from reading this book. Don't let that happen to you. Jump on it and take a wild ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18889)
    Performance
    (12989)
    Story
    (12885)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "How Stupid Can a Heroine Be?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got through part one, which was pretty good, and then a quarter of part two, when the heroine turned into an idiot, and I couldn't stand it anymore.

    The romance genre depends upon tension between the lovers, and much of the strife is based on misunderstandings. I get that. But the heroine's thought processes, perceptions, attitude, and behavior were maddening and in some cases inexcusable. When I couldn't sympathize with her anymore, when I didn't care what happened to her, I knew it was time to exchange this book for another.

    Kudos to the narrator. She was fabulous.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Gordon S. Wood
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (302)

    In Empire of Liberty, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life - in politics, society, economy, and culture.

    Joseph says: "Excellent historical writing"
    "Brilliant Pilots Flying by the Seat of Their Pants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Remarkable, really, how our Forefathers, having no template but knowing what they didn't like about how they were being governed, created the foundation of our United States.Their forethought was astonishing. They got just about everything right . . . except abolishing slavery, and of course that is a huge "except." I did not know, however, that the general belief was that slavery would soon come to a natural end because of the influx of so many workers from Europe. The invention of the cotton gin changed all that by making possible the quick processing of a type of cotton that had been unprofitable.

    This fascinating book, though, is largely about the ripple effect liberty, democracy, and equality had on people's mindset--how they conceptualized themselves, sprang to newfound opportunities, worshiped, and interacted. It was in many ways with innocent, celebratory wonderment.

    This book is part of the Oxford Series of American History, and I will listen to all the volumes, I am sure. I learned so much, and I felt awe and gratitude for what these brilliant minds created.

    As for the narrator, Robert Fass did not miss a beat. He read at a good clip but with proper rhythm and inflection. He did a superb job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Truman

    • UNABRIDGED (54 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (367)

    Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman captured the heart of the nation. The life and times of the 33rd president of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.

    Edith says: "Fascinating"
    "Well, now I know. . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over the years I had heard many people say that Truman did not have to approve dropping the atomic bombs, that the Japanese had already lost their war. I heard people speculate that Truman had given the go-ahead just to show Stalin that the US had the capabilities or that the US had put so much money and effort into the Manhattan Project, the bomb was like a runaway train, and Truman couldn't stop it. McCullough explains that the Japanese mindset was to die rather than surrender, and they would have kept fighting to the last man, woman, and child. In the book, one Japanese woman was given an awl and told to stab an enemy soldier if it came to that. Truman believed that an invasion of Japan would have cost the US a quarter of a million dead and wounded, and he was not going to allow that to happen. I believe that, and, well, now I know.

    I found amazing that Truman had succeeded in very little in life and was suddenly thrust into the presidency at one of the most critical points in our history. He met with FDR only three times between his election to the vice presidency and his swearing in as president.

    Reading about Stalin's disregard for Eastern European countries' sovereignty also provides a historical basis for Putin's behavior now. It's happened before, it's happening now, and it will probably happen again.

    I recommend this book. McCullough and Runger are an unbeatable combination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2653)
    Performance
    (1427)
    Story
    (1430)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "Without question the best memoir ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have never read a more amazing memoir. McCourt can rip your heart out in one paragraph and make you laugh out loud in the next. This heartbreaking story of poverty in America, then Ireland opens readers' eyes to how a young, innocent boy perceives his piteous life of hunger, prejudice, and loss as perfectly normal. The family struggles to survive, but the loving father's alcoholism and eventual desertion reduces the mother to humiliation and begging and the children to shame and theft. Siblings die; siblings survive. Harsh, judgmental relatives refuse to help. Frank and his brothers make their way in a skewed world where Catholicism causes more guilt and misery than offers comfort.

    So where's the humor? you may ask. Everywhere in their world where the abnormal is normal.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough. That the author narrates the story of his own life makes it all the more touching.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Irish History for Dummies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Mike Cronin
    • Narrated By Patrick Moy
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Putting history into a perspective, Irish History for Dummies is an engaging, entertaining and educational trip through time, packing in equal parts fun and facts, providing listeners with a riveting history of this ancient land. The history of Ireland has shaped the world far beyond its borders. And few stories have a greater need for a balanced and light-hearted telling than the complex and often controversial saga of Ireland and her people.

    laurie says: "I Don't Know How the Irish Managed to Endure"
    "I Don't Know How the Irish Managed to Endure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book to prepare for a vacation in Ireland. Knowing little about Irish history except the relatively recent tragic events in Northern Ireland, I was stunned to read how much the Irish endured mainly at the hands of the English. For centuries, into modern times, the Irish suffered prejudice, religious persecution, exploitation, injustice, poverty, illness, and cruelty as a result of England's superior military strength, unstoppable aggression, and insatiable greed.

    Now I can't wait to take my trip and meet my hosts, whom other travelers have described as hospitable, warm, and generous. This is a great tribute to their strength and faith.

    The narrator did a wonderful job. He read beautifully. He had an Irish accent (that would seem obvious, but Johnny Depp, with an American accent, read Keith Richards's autobiography--a choice I'll never understand). Although the facts of the country's history are grim, for some reason the book came across as very interesting rather than depressing and painful. The content struck me as thorough and complete.

    I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (275)

    No Ordinary Time describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become the preeminent economic and military power in the world.

    BB says: "A rich and entertaining history"
    "Eleanor, I Hardly Knew Ye!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This wonderful book discusses WWII from a much more personal perspective than any I've read. While FDR was the politician and brain of the country at this time, Eleanor was the heart and conscience. She discovered her husband's affair when she was in her mid-thirties and thereafter pretty much went her own way, to the great advantage of social causes in the United States. She was a Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and Labor Rights activist throughout these years and prompted profound advances by pressuring her husband about these causes in the White House. I had no idea.

    Nelson Runger's narration was excellent. He does a credible imitation of FDR and Churchill, and his delivery for Eleanor was subtly singsong and high pitched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Carl Hart
    • Narrated By J. D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    A pioneering neuroscientist shares his story of growing up in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods and how it led him to his groundbreaking work in drug addiction. As a youth, Carl Hart didn't realize the value of school; he studied just enough to stay on the basketball team. At the same time, he was immersed in street life. Today he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist - Columbia University's first tenured African American professor in the sciences.

    Thug4life says: "Outstanding!"
    "A Different Perspective on Drugs and Racism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr. Carl Hart grew up in South Florida, maintained a 2.0 academic average in high school so he could play sports, and managed to avoid brushes with the law, unlike many of his peers. He took an armed-forces aptitude test just to get out of class that day, and he did well enough for the army and air force to try to enlist him. Going into the air force changed his life by expanding his horizons, and he went on to become a tenured professor at Columbia. How could this not be an interesting book?!

    Hart believes that the War on Drugs is a policy based in racism and pharmacological ignorance. The laws and enforcement thereof are so heavily weighted against the black community, they are destroying the chance of success in life for generations of young men. The social ills and crime blamed on drugs, he says, existed well before drugs became ubiquitous. His scientific research on addiction and the statistics he relates also show the public's lack of knowledge.

    This was a fascinating, thought-provoking book on many levels. I learned a lot.

    As for the narrator, I'm glad the decision-makers chose a black man to read the book. My only objection was that he read too slowly and without enough emotion. No matter what he was saying, it was all delivered at the same measured pace.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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