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Beth

Chelmsford, MA, United States | Member Since 2004

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • The Walk

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Richard Paul Evans
    • Narrated By Richard Paul Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (129)

    What would you do if you lost everything - your job, your home, and the love of your life - all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he's tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he's known and heads for the farthest point on his map.

    Kathy says: "Excellent a Must Read"
    "A story of Hope"
    Overall

    Over the last week I've been listening to "The Walk" during my morning walks and it's been a great match. I've looked forward to the next installment each day, and I'll be downloading the next book. This isn't a flashy tale, just a story of a man facing Job-like challenges, his life stripped away to nothing, working his way back to meaning.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (642)
    Story
    (654)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Funny! A Swedish Forrest Gump -- laugh out loud!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this on a whim and am glad I did! The story kept me guessing all the way through. The weaving together of the 100 year old man's history through the 20th century and his hilarious present circumstances is a delight. Many times I laughed out loud, and sat in the driveway listening to get to a good stopping point before turning off the car. How one person could meet Franco, Truman, Stalin, Mao, and President Johnson -- oh and save Winston Churchill's life -- well, you just have to listen to see how it all weaves together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (542)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (492)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "1950's, London Dockyards, Family, Faith"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. This is a memoir of a nurse early in her career learning to be a Midwife in the London Dockyards in the 1950's. Her observations of convent and family living conditions are vivid, and the stories are funny, sad, and sometimes downright inspirational. I looked forward to my next chance to listen from the first chapter, with the introduction to Sister Monica Jones.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (457)

    The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a 17-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits.

    Emrys says: "Superb narration of a great story"
    "A classic -- even for those of us who get seasick!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do not sail. I get seasick looking at pictures of boats on the ocean. And I LOVE the Hornblower series. This is a story of daring, ambition, intelligence, discipline, risk.taking and luck! A co-worker reminded me that Horatio Hornblower was the inspiration for Captain Kirk of Star Trek, and it is an apt comparison!

    If you have never read any of the series, this is the perfect book to start with.

    The unfamilar nautical terms make sense in the context they are used. Your time and place in history come alive through the narrative. The reader is excellent. Before you know it, the book is over, and you are purchasing and downloading the next one....luckily there are many in the series, so you have many happy hours before you must say goodbye to Horatio Hornblower.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7442)
    Performance
    (4208)
    Story
    (4191)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Incredible view into the start of the 20th century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book brings the sweeping social changes of the early 20th century into vivid life -- socialism, women's rights, the decline and fall of monarchies, trade unions, capitalism. I had never seen the ties between these, or really understood why people were so passionate about them, until listening to this book.

    I had also never understood how the assasination of a minor noble swept the entire world into war. The waste of it made my heart ache. November 11th will never be the same for me.

    I recommend this audiobook without reservation. I cannot imagine any reason for not liking this book. The reader is excellent. If you haven't listened to one of Ken Follett's historical epics yet, what are you waiting for?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8336)
    Performance
    (2809)
    Story
    (2838)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "45 hours long and I didn't want it to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book totally absorbed me. Wonderfully written, plot twists every time (except the last) that a happy ending appeared to be in the offing, and a totally satisfactory ending.

    The description of life in the plague years, the state of medicine, and the resulting breakdown of society were very real. The power struggles between nobility and serfs, and between church and state resonated as the beginnings of the society we live in today. Even the questions of nurture versus nature are explored, as traits and talents are passed down one generation to the next.

    I recommend this highly. I don't like Follett's thrillers, but I love his historical fiction. The reader did this extremely well -- it was easy for me to get into the story, and stay there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruby in the Smoke: Sally Lockhart Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (161)

    In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries, and realizes that she herself is the key to both.

    Bonita says: "A Must Read For All Ages"
    "Historical Mystery with an Unconventional Heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe I stumbled across this book on a list of "books in a series" one day. I strongly recommend this series to anyone who loves mysteries, strong female characters, and Victorian England.

    The Ruby in the Smoke was riveting from the beginning -- always there was the anticipation of "what can possibly happen next"? Sally is a memorable character -- intelligent, unconventional, 16 years old in Victorian England and suddenly a nearily penniless orphan with only the most miserable Aunt to take her in. Sally sets out to solve the mystery of her father's death at sea, after receiving a mysterious letter purporting to be from him but not in his hand-writing. Solving the mystery takes her into danger and into many parts of British life that a young woman is not expected to see, especially not in Victorian England.

    This was such a satisfying book that I had to instantly purchase the two sequels; they were even more memorable and well written. I recommend this series without reservation.

    The reader does a wonderful job, clear, character voices nicely done, makes it easy to transport yourself into the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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