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Kathryn

Schwenksville, PA, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 276 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
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  • A History of the Jews

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    This historical magnum opus covers 4,000 years of the extraordinary history of the Jews as a people, a culture, and a nation. It shows the impact of Jewish character on the world: their genius, imagination, and, most of all, their ability to persevere despite severe persecutions. Compelling insights into events and individuals are chronologically detailed, from Moses and Jesus to Spinoza, Marx, Freud, the Rothschilds, and Golda Meir.

    David says: "Excellent History"
    "Good story, not such good audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A History of the Jews?

    This book gives great insight into the overarching history of the Jewish people, though its breadth takes a bit away from its depth, though this is probably a mercy since there is just so much history to review here!


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I'm sorry to say that the narration was not very satisfying. Nadia May is a wonderful reader, but here, perhaps because of poor recording equipment?, her voice sounded yappy and incessant. I was surprised by this since some of her other readings have been among my favorites.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those books which is great to fall asleep to. I look for a good long book that will send me off to sleep, and this one is definitely in that category! On the other hand, listening to it during my waking hours has been very interesting. My respect for the Jewish people, and my compassion for their years and years of suffering has intensified thanks to this book. I believe that this is the sort of history many people should be aware of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (487)

    Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

    Chrissie says: "Pay attention!"
    "Keep a map handy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As said in the foreword, this book reads like a suspense novel. The question of who would engage in war with whom is surprisingly interesting, thanks to Barbara Tuchman's ability to tell the tale. However, as things get more complex, it gets hard to follow the various names and places without a firm grip of history and geography already in hand. So many generals, so many skirmishes! Another problem with the audio version is the absence of footnotes. Surely I'd be able to make more sense of quotes and attributions if there were footnotes. Nevertheless, despite these issues, I found that I learned a great deal, and I gained a greater perspective on the root causes of the terrible "Great War" than I'd had previously. (Though I wonder if perhaps her view of the Germans was overly- tainted by the horrors of WWII? Hard to say, but all in all, she really portrays them as irredeemable.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By John Eliot Gardiner
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents’ house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it.

    Jean says: "Interesting"
    "Better read than listen to this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For a book about a musician, this book has the least musical narrator I've come upon. His accent is so uneven. Is he British? Aussie? American? When he is quoting something where a slight to the source is implied he seems to put on an American southerner accent. Well, the question alone of what he was trying for with this strange mix of accents is quite distracting. I really feel like he ruins a most excellent book. John Eliot Gardner's writing dances along like his conducting a Bach Cantatta. To bad the narrator has not the least lilt in his voice to accompany such a soaring narrative!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Longing and Belonging: The Complete John O'Donohue Audio Collection

    • ORIGINAL (31 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John O'Donohue
    • Narrated By John O'Donohue
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (98)

    John O'Donohue was a one-of-a-kind force of nature: a genius with words, a brilliant thinker, and a professional excavator of the soul. In the course of his extraordinary life, this Irish poet and teacher touched the hearts of millions with his unique blend of philosophy, instruction, and spiritual insight. For over a decade, Sounds True had the privilege of working with John, and Longing and Belonging presents the full collection of his recordings for both long-time listeners and those discovering his legacy for the first time.

    Kathryn says: "Finally-- words that describe my inner landscape"
    "Finally-- words that describe my inner landscape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not a person who listens or reads self-help books, or even many books on spirituality or religion. ( Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, and a few others being the notable exceptions)-- so I approached this warily. I have found though that John O'Donohue's writing describes my experience of Spirit, and his words are expanding my vocabulary for experiences I've had, a way of life I have known, but never managed to express.

    I don't imagine his path is one that would speak to all seekers. But if you have been raised with a celtic consciousness, his writing will help to round out your living connection to Spirit and do it in a way that does not conflict with you Christian faith, but rather rounds it out and deepens it.

    O'Donahue's voice is clear and musical, with a sort of clear high sound, like the wind working against the ancient stones. It can be a little tiring if you do not listen closely. My suggestion is to take in what he says in short bits. His writing is so full and deep, just like a rich fragrant dish of some delicious food, you don't want to consume it, but rather take it in slowly, and let it work in the hidden parts of your heart, and then go back for more. There is time. There is no need to rush.

    Finally I just want to express my profound gratitude for the life and work of this man. He managed to bring together and make sense of the tangle of the celtic consciousness, which is hidden, almost lost in the rush and bright light of modern scientific western thought. -- I am sorry his "clay form" is no longer walking around among us, and yet so grateful that his wisdom has been shared and continues to be heard.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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