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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

64
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 219 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
19

  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3539)
    Performance
    (3171)
    Story
    (3199)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book to hear a firsthand report of the Bin Laden mission and the rescue of Captain Phillips from the Somalian pirates, but it offered so much more than that. Its content described the driven personality of a SEAL ("the person who comes in second is the first loser"), the personal sacrifices, the beyond-rigorous training, and the cooperation, professionalism, and camaraderie among these brothers in arms.

    The preface explains that many authorities examined the content to make certain it did not divulge anything that could prove useful to enemies of the US. Being at the compound in Pakistan as the raid took place delivered exactly what I was looking for. As for the Somalian pirates, one had to come aboard the US ship for medical treatment, and our soldiers put him on deck, in view of the other pirates who were still on the lifeboat with their American captive, and fed this pirate ice cream and Cokes, in full view of the others, to weaken their morale. I thought that was hilarious. Then, of course, the SWAT team killed the pirates as soon as they could do so without jeopardizing Captain Phillips--every exciting . . . and similar missions go on all the time.

    The narrator did a wonderful job. His voice was well suited to the book.

    I highly recommend No Easy Day.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17319)
    Performance
    (11524)
    Story
    (11416)

    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
    (498)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (279)

    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
    (377)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (329)

    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
    (2572)
    Performance
    (1355)
    Story
    (1360)

    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
    (279)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (249)

    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
    (92)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • War and Peace, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (620)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (335)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Matt says: "A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
    "Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, Audible offers this novel as two books, which I did not realize when I purchased Volume 1. When I came to the end and realized the story was unfinished and I was out of credits, the representative was good enough to advance me a credit for Volume 2 so I could keep going. Don't make my mistake; purchase both at the same time.

    Tolstoy opens a whole world to the readers, and once you enter, you find yourself inhabiting the country and the times, becoming a part of every social strata, and feeling affected by all aspects of Russian life. Living this masterpiece was a wondrous experience for me. The characters are so vivid, you care about what happens to them after you've read the last page.

    I tell my clients that authors have three primary responsibilities: to inform, entertain, and evoke emotions from the readers. No one could do a better job of all three than Tolstoy in this amazing novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Resurrection

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    When Prince Dmitri Nekhludov is called for jury duty on a murder case, he little knows how the experience will change his life. Faced with the accused, a prostitute, he recognizes Katusha, the young girl he seduced and abandoned many years before, and realizes his responsibility for the life of degradation she has been forced to lead. His determination to make amends leads him into the darkest reaches of the Tsarist prison system, and to the beginning of his spiritual regeneration.

    laurie says: "Characters as the Author's Mouthpiece"
    "Characters as the Author's Mouthpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a book editor, I ask my clients not to use their characters to speak for them but to allow the characters to speak for themselves. I don't believe this is the case in Resurrection. Tolstoy wants to address the Russian "justice" and penal systems, and although he dramatizes the unfolding action, at its core, the dialogue and narrative are more obviously coming straight from the author than I prefer. The setup is interesting: a wealthy juror finds that the accused murderer is a young woman who lived in his aunts' house and whom he loved and betrayed many years before. Believing his betrayal resulted in her ruination and ultimately brought her to this sorry fate, he takes responsibility and follows her to Siberia, where she is imprisoned. This nobleman's thoughts and dialogue were, in my opinion, not distanced enough from what Tolstoy believed, and I was always aware of the author's presence. I think the author should be invisible to the readers rather than the characters' puppeteer.

    I did, however, respect Tolstoy's stance and his taking on his huge and terrible issue that was so unfair and prevalent in his country.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen Grosz
    • Narrated By Peter Marinker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    An extraordinarybook for anyone eager to understand the hidden motives that shape our lives. We are all storytellers—we create stories to make sense ofour lives. But it is not enough to tell tales; there must be someone to listen. In his work as a practicing psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz hasspent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our mostbaffling behavior. The Examined Life distills more than fifty thousandhours of conversation into pure psychological insight without the jargon.

    Helen says: "Interesting and Insightful"
    "Interesting insights into psychoanalysis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The idea of seeing a psychoanalyst five days a week for years struck me as self-indulgent, but this book showed how some individuals' destructive behavior needs that ongoing, intense attention to unravel the subconscious reasons. Grosz presents a wide variety of issues and includes how his patients' issues and his response to them prompted him to analyze himself. Two stories affected me deeply: his father's return to the locations where he spent his pre-WWII youth, and a violent child who spat in Grosz's face every day for a year and a half.

    The narrator did a wonderful job. He communicated Grosz's obvious intelligence and thought-based approach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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