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  • Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Andrew J. Mellen
    • Narrated By Andrew J. Mellen

    Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet.

    Angela says: "My lightbulb moment"
    "Good Stuff"

    Really enjoyed this book. As I go about simplifying my life, I find myself repeating key phrases such as "like with like" and "the thing is not the person". I even lecture myself on returning things to their designated homes when I get careless.

    In a fulsome act of disorganization, I soon discovered that I had already read this book about a year ago, but continued with the audible version anyway, and quickly found that I had overlooked much valuable material during my first go-round. As I am already a fairly well-organized person, I had scanned or skipped whole pages during my first reading, figuring that certain sections did not apply to me. Arrogant fool. During the audible version, I discovered that every chapter contains valuable information.

    I lost my husband to cancer 3 years ago and letting go of his belongings has been a difficult process. When I was ready, I donated most of his clothing; then I threw out university papers and essays, etc., the accoutrements of a life that were once significant but not particularly personally valuable. For the smaller yet somehow bigger things, author Mellen's advice helps me as I continue to struggle with memories such as theatre ticket stubs, stacks of photographs, his bedroom slippers, his e-mail address. I'm filing and organizing the treasures, discarding the duplicates or the unlovely photos in which my butt does indeed look big, and handing off special items to his family, who I know will value them. In a truly heartbreaking moment, I was forced to throw out the cards, love notes, and other special paper mementoes that I had temporarily stored in a plastic box. In the basement. Too late came Mellen's warning never to store paper-based valuables in the basement. These precious treasures were coated in black mould when I opened the box, and they could not be salvaged. I can only console myself with Mellen's observation that the thing is not the person.

    Mellen's delivery is perfectly suited to the material, and he manages to inject humour into the narrative with a pause here and a little emphasis there. Well done.

    I will keep the slippers.

    266 of 270 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"

    My attention often wanders while listening to audible books ... but not this one. This account of Louis Zamperini's wartime experience scoops you up and carries you along at a breathtaking pace. It is difficult to believe that a man could bear this experience and still keep going.

    A knowledge of his youth and pre-war life are important to an understanding of his character, but the description of his early years is a tad long-winded. Interesting enough, but you're anxious to get on with it.

    There are moments of humour that provide relief from the relentless misery of Zamperini's experience, touches that author Hillenbrand slips in so deftly that they're almost gone before you catch them and chuckle. She also includes some profound observations on those qualities of the mind that tap a higher order of existence. These observations are brief but effective; they make you want to pause and think about them.

    Reminiscent of Blaine Harden's ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14, UNBROKEN will probably stay with you long after you have finished reading or listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Journey to Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Marvin J. Besteman, Lorilee Craker
    • Narrated By Maurice England
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On April 28, 2006, as he lay in his hospital bed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, visions of celestial beauty were the last thing on Marv Besteman's mind. He had just had surgery to remove a rare pancreatic tumor. It was after visiting hours and his family had left for the day. Alone and racked with pain, Marv tossed and turned, wanting more than anything else to simply sleep and escape the misery and discomfort for a while. The retired banker, father, and grandfather had no idea he was about to get a short reprieve....

    Emma-Louise says: "Biblically Accurate!"
    "Oh God!"

    Have listened to about 3/4 of Besterman's description of his journey to heaven, and am abandoning ship.
    This book is too stupid for words.
    Lineups to get into heaven? St Peter confused at not finding Besterman's name on his list of eligible entrants? Please.
    The narrator's southern drawl is so out of sync with the author's frequent references to his Dutch background that it represents a sizeable distraction.
    Lower the lifeboats; I'm outta here.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Learning from the Light: Pre-Death Experiences, Prophecies, and Angelic Messages of Hope

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By John Lerma
    • Narrated By Arika Escalona Rapson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Lerma's best-selling book, Into the Light, inspired thousands of readers to discover not only what awaits us as we prepare to make our journey from earth to heaven, but, more importantly, how to achieve heaven on earth. In Learning from the Light, Dr. Lerma shares more angelic messages given to his patients and more stories from and about survivors who have experienced the loss of a loved one... and their visits with angels

    Amazon Reader says: "Interesting"
    "Nothing New Here"

    Although Lerma makes a few interesting observations, this book strikes me as an attempt to cash in on interest in the hereafter.
    He covers well-trod paths and offers no fresh insights. Portions of his narrative amount to little more than bragging about his wealth.
    Generally boring in its rehashing of old stories like the sneaker on the hospital ledge, it frequently veers off into annoying preachiness.
    Don't waste your time. You've already read it.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ghosts: Edith Wharton's Gothic Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin, Jonathan Epstein, Corinna May, and others

    Beneath the brilliance that was behind The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome was a dark side. A dark side which produced magnificent tales of the unseen influences in our lives, such as "Mr. Jones", "The Eyes", "Kerfol", "The Ladie's Maid's Bell", and "The Looking Glass".

    Diane says: "Ghastly Shadows of the Feminine Condition"
    "So Predictable"

    I am a big fan of Edith Wharton's work. This 1926 collection of short "ghost" stories, however, fails the reader of 2013.

    As is characteristic of Wharton's writing, the narration is understated, never veering into OMG territory. She gives the reader credit for having a brain.

    Unfortunately, she treads a well-worn path in each of these tales. The stories move slowly and the outcomes are predictable. I had to force myself to hear them all through to the end, hoping that somewhere in the pack I'd uncover an "Ethan Frome" experience.

    I would recommend any of this Pulitzer prize-winning author's other books or short stories, but suggest you leave this collection of ghost stories on the shelf.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eben Alexander
    • Narrated By Eben Alexander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On November 10, 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander was driven into coma by a disease so lethal that only 1 in 10,000,000 survive. Seven days later, he awakened with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm that were more real than this earthly one - memories that included meeting a deceased birth sister he had never known existed. Dr. Alexander deployed all his knowledge as a scientist to find out whether his mind could have played a trick on him. In its shutdown state, there was no way it could have.

    Kelly says: "Compelling"

    I finished listening to this book about 10 days ago and find that I remember very little about it, other than a few idiosyncratic features of Dr. Alexander's story.

    For one, it seems that his illness was exceedingly rare, and when it does strike, takes no prisoners. What are we to infer from his narrative? We are nudged toward the conclusion that Dr. Alexander's recovery, intellect intact, must be a miracle; although he stops short of casting it as such.

    As for his son, who bears the majestic title of Eben IV, I guess he's OK with the moniker. But really? To refer to him always as Eben-the-Fourth must get a little cumbersome, to say the least.

    His account of the NDE itself is ordinary fare. You've read or heard it all before.

    Dr. Alexander reads well, and conveys his story with sincerity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Anita Moorjani
    • Narrated By Anita Moorjani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this truly inspirational audio book, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body began shutting down - overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience (NDE) where she realized her inherent worth... and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was released from the hospital within weeks - without a trace of cancer in her body!

    Jeffrey says: "SImply Amazing"
    "Repetition Ad Tedium"

    A book that deals with the topic of personal death has an eager audience. Many people yearn for a glimpse behind the veil, a glimpse that would seem to exist in a narrative such as Moorjani's, a narrative that captures the experience of near death.

    Moorjani sets the stage for her NDE in meticulous detail, describing her religious, cultural, and family background as a transplanted resident of Hong Kong. Eventually, we arrive at the core of her story, her near death and her experience on the other side.

    Anyone who has stood at the deathbed of a loved one welcomes with great joy her description of the release from pain, the happiness at being welcomed by departed loved ones, the feeling of basking in an overwhelming love that knows no bounds, makes no demands. At some point during her description of this experience, she begins to get bogged down in the repetitiveness that plagues her writing, and we grow just a little tired of the constant references to "unconditional love and acceptance" and the "irrelevance of time". Still, her story is sufficiently compelling to carry us along, and her description of her re-entry into the world of the living is an illuminating comment on the limitations of our human grasp of life.

    Things really start to break down when she begins to lecture the listener/reader on the insights that she has gained from her experience. Her constant references to the oneness of the cosmos and the universe, our magnificence, our importance as little colourful threads in an enormous tapestry are worthwhile concepts but they rapidly become tiresome repeats of a sermon we've heard and heard and heard. By the time Moorjani finally gets around to winding up her book, her comments have become annoying.

    Her story is worthwhile; her recording of it could have used some serious editing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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