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Debbie

Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009

ratings
175
REVIEWS
174
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
37
HELPFUL VOTES
101

  • Boundary Waters

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (211)

    Drawing strong comparisons to the work of James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman, William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor mysteries never fail to please fans. Here Cork joins the search for a country-western singer who has disappeared in the wilderness along the American/Canadian border.

    adrienne says: "Another unusual adventure"
    "Great Series, Book Two, Ready for Book Three!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My husband and I listened to the first book in this series (Iron Lake) on a road trip to visit our daughter in New Orleans. Loved it so much, we had to download the second book for the trip back home. This one is also a great mystery, one in which Cork, ex-sheriff is on a hunt for a lost country western singer who has been lured back to her Indian roots. And figuring out who is the bad guys in this story is about as elusive as in the first book. William Kent Krueger does not disappoint. We didn't finish the book on our drive home (just like the first one, on our drive down to New Orleans) . . . so the audio book won out OVER our normal tv shows for the first couple hours after we got home . . .

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tularosa

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michael McGarrity
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    In a wicked conspiracy reaching across the Mexican border, Tularosa pits a jaded ex-cop against tight-lipped Army personnel, hired thugs, and smooth-talking outlaws. Forced into retirement by a crippling gunshot wound, Santa Fe policeman Kevin Kerney seeks solitude on a small New Mexico ranch far from the nearest neighbor. But when his godson disappears without a trace into the harsh, high-security desert of the White Sands Missile Range, Kerney emerges to search for the young soldier.

    Spinner says: "Would like to hear the entire series!"
    "Out West Meets US Army, GREAT STORY!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My husband and I listened to this one on a road trip over a long weekend. And we both loved it. Caught ourselves carrying the ipod to bed with us to sneak in a few more minutes each night after our family went to sleep . . . The descriptions of the beautiful western landscapes were exceptional, as well as the Indian customs, and it added to the story of Sammy, the soldier who supposedly went AWOL. For someone who has only driven through these sparse, ruggedly beautiful states in the western U.S., I found myself longing to go back, and really SEE them, to stop and drink the beauty in. The history of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico was equally interesting to us. And what we as a people have done to our native American brothers and sisters always brings pain to me. Tularosa is a great book. Don't miss it. And I have already added Mexican Hat, the next one in the series to my wish list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (354)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Post Vietnam War View of Laos from Coroner's View"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed (strange to enjoy a story from the morgue, huh?) this audio book, much to my own surprise. A 72-year old doctor turned coroner, is not at all happy with the prospects, he was educated in Paris prior to the communist regime of Pathet Lao in Laos, now following the Vietnam war, the former French colony is forever changed. But Dr. Siri must play along. The twists and turns are hilarious, sad, strange and full of Asian mystical meaning, of which the kind doctor has a gift. This is great writing on many levels . . . the descriptions of post-war Laos, the great understanding of what the Laotian people endured and how they felt during this time (but were unable to express), the deceptions of communist, and the ingenious ways that all resilient people survive under horrendous conditions. I can't wait to go on to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (471)
    Story
    (471)

    The scion of an old-money San Francisco family, Daniel Brasher left his well-paying, respectable money-manager position to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled violent offenders. One night he finds an envelope - one intended for someone else that was placed in his office mailbox by accident. Inside is an unsigned piece of paper, a handwritten note that says, "Admit what you've done or you will bleed for it."

    karen says: "The purgatory of group therapy"
    "Gripping Psychological Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I really got into this one by Gregg Hurwitz . . . and I'm a fan of Scott Brick . . . so no problems there. The setting in San Francisco brought back many memories for me, having visited there lots of times when we lived in California. I also identified with Cristina, Daniel's wife, who is totally repulsed by Daniel's mother and her "old money". The convicted felons in Daniel's therapy group are beyond interesting, and as the story progressed, I had NO idea who the murderer was. Great book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Return: Redemption Series #3

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury, Gary Smalley
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (21)

    Luke, golden boy and the Baxter family's only son, has walked away from everything that mattered most to him: his faith, his family, and Reagan, his only love. Devastated by the events of September 11, 2001, Luke decides that life is random, faith a fraud, and God a fantasy. A baby is about to be born, but with Reagan a thousand miles away in New York City, Luke has no idea he's the father. Now, though, someone in his family learns the truth.

    Angela says: "Yet another good one"
    "We like lost sheep have all gone astray . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The continuing story of the Baxter family is a legacy of God's faithfulness. As the mother of five grown children, it blesses me to read/hear this multi-generational story of God's love. This is the third book in the series, and the struggles that the Baxter children encounter are hard ones. With each battle that they face, even their own foolish rebellion against God, they learn . . . learn who they can trust, who loves them, and ultimately who has been with them in the valley all along. Can't wait to get the next books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Remember: Redemption Series #2

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury, Gary Smalley
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    She has locked up her heart, convinced that no one - including God - could love her. Four unlikely people - Alzheimer's patients - find the cracks in Ashley's heart and slowly help her remember. Then comes the nightmare of September 11, which forever changes the lives of the Baxter family, causing them to remember what is important and leading them to make decisions that are both heartbreaking and hope-filled.

    Angela says: "Really good booked - moving on to the next one"
    "Christianity Lived Out Day by Day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second in the Redemption series. The story line is excellent. The Baxter family experiences what many Christian families do. The evil one roaming to and fro seeking what he may devour, a primary target being our children. It is refreshing to listen to Christian fiction, hear about Christianity being lived out despite being attacked, abandoned, ridiculed by your own children. The narration, at times, in this audio book, (my opinion) sounded a bit too "goody two shoes", too syrupy sweet, and not as down to earth as it should be. But I got over it, and stuck with it until the end. Because the story is a wonderful one. I went directly to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Candle in the Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (164)

    Winner of the 2001 Christy Award, Lynn Austin captures the turmoil of the Civil War in this stirring novel. From vast plantations to the cramped closets of the Underground Railroad, it follows one young woman's inspiring journey of risk and sacrifice.

    Terry says: "A different look at the Civil War"
    "Best Story of North/South & Struggles of Slavery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read (and loved) many historical novels about the civil war, the struggles between the northern and southern states, the ways of the Yankees and the Rebels, and the issue of slavery. This one is the best by far, because it is the only one that has broken down the barriers and prejudices into simple terms. Basic right and wrong. As I listened to this audio book, it became clear to me that the entire civil war, beginning to end, was a GOD THING. And I really have never thought of it in that way at all. I began to grasp the fact that the prayers and actions of a few simple, obedient, God fearing people really does matter. I gained not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge. So many things in this book are absolutely true. The racial prejudices of the north are still much worse than in the south. Yet the southern states are the ones that owned the slaves. Abraham Lincoln, (born in my home state of Kentucky, a state that remained neutral during the civil war), was, I believe a man sent by God to abolish slavery. Yet he was so hated that he was murdered while in office, not long after slavery was abolished. I will not soon forget this book and the simple truths that it brings. Love thy neighbor as thy self. Be a servant, as Christ was also a servant. Forgive others, as Christ has also forgiven you. This book is based on Christian principles, but it never preaches, never judges, never sees just one side. The losses suffered by both the north and south in the civil war was enormous. Many high school students would greatly benefit from reading and studying this in their history classes to gain a better understanding of what the war between the states really was about.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Izzy and Lenore

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jon Katz
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    Jon Katz is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous nonfiction tales of man's best friend. Here he presents the story of two dogs that profoundly affected his life and work. Skittish border collie Izzy pushes him into rewarding work with Hospice. And black lab Lenore's gentle spirit helps remind him why he wanted to work with animals in the first place.

    Dan says: "Amazing Book.."
    "Searching, Learning, Healing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The simplicity with which dogs love and accept us is one of the most amazing and healing gifts that we humans will ever encounter. I can't begin to tell you how this audio book by Jon Katz blessed me. The narration is perfect, soothing, calming, gentle . . . like a pup nuzzling up to you in the night. The story of Izzy, the border collie left wild in the fields to his own devices, with no one to call his own, abandoned by his owners . . . then adopted by Jon and joining him and the animals on his farm, learning to be a hospice dog . . . well, it is a story of healing, for Izzy, for the hospice patients, and for Jon . . . I think what I appreciated most of all is the honesty with which this story is written . . . the story of the valleys that all people encounter, whether in middle age or not, the ghosts of our pasts, which pop out of no where and suck the joy out of our lives, and threaten our future . . . the choice we all must make is to WALK THROUGH that valley and confront the ghosts . . . oh, and the comforts of having a pup to journey through it with us . . . a pup that never judges,never questions, just comes right along with us, come what may, until we come out whole on the other side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams of Joy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (866)
    Performance
    (601)
    Story
    (595)

    In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.

    Maida says: "Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books"
    "What it is to be Chinese, What it is to be free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Shanghai Girls, I couldn't wait to start the sequel. The story of young idealistic Joy, sweet innocent daughter of Pearl who flees INTO communist China is absolutely engrossing, and like so many young people who get caught up in a dream. And the lives of May and Pearl also continue, as they face heartbreaking truths about themselves and their past. The historical facts included in this fictional story about what happened inside China during the early years of Mao are chilling, eye opening, even to us who think we know the evils of communism. The first hand accounts of the suffering and death of the Chinese people at the hands of this regime are horrifying, and the shift from glorious hope in equality to eventual utter despair of these proud, resilient people . . . well, it is evil in it's purest form. It is about power. It isn't and never was about equality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shanghai Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1367)
    Performance
    (594)
    Story
    (603)

    Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

    Frances says: "Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
    "Amazing Story of Resilient, Family-Oriented People"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Historical fiction at it's best . . . this novel of two sisters, their family, and the old China of the early 1900's is beautifully written and narrated. This is a China and Shanghai that I really knew nothing about, since I was born in 1955. The American Chinese that I have been privileged to know have been some of the most honest and hard working people I would ever want to meet. This story which tells the hardships facing the early immigrants of the Chinese to America, makes me understand how these wonderful people came to be who they are. I did know that missionaries served in China prior to the communist regime, though I knew little else. The customs, the tight family framework, the sacrifices that generations of Chinese people endured for their offspring impacted me as I listened, as well as the exploitation of those virtues by fellow Chinese citizens. It is clear that evil preys on the most innocent in our society. As the two sisters, Pearl and May eventually escape from China to the United States, and enter through Angel's Island (also unknown to me) in California, I am amazed to learn at the interrogation they endure upon entry to America. I had never heard of "paper sons". I can't wait to listen to the next book by Lisa See, "Dreams of Joy". I am totally intrigued by the determination, love, and sacrifice of these people who are frugal, humble, and put the love of their family above all else. Their appreciation of America and the freedoms that many of us take for granted is refreshing and is a lesson for us all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steve Lopez
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (182)

    When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.

    Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.

    David says: "Fascinating true story"
    "Hope, Illusion, Schizophrenia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is seldom that I choose nonfiction books, and when I do I am often disappointed. Not this time. I haven't seen the movie . . . doubt if I will . . . they usually come no where near the book. I am one of those people who have really been angered by the laws which put the mentally ill out on the streets many years ago, when "in their best interest" the mental institutions were eventually all closed down, along with all the other institutional placements for the severely handicapped. You see, I am the mother of a severely mentally retarded, severely autistic adult, who only through the grace of God, lots of work on our part (mine and my husband's), and constantly advocating for her, is now in an appropriate group home close to us, where she is safe. Mental illness is very different. But I'm not entirely sure that we've done these precious people any service by closing all the facilities which once housed them. There are so many ethical questions, so many questions of safety, not only of the mentally ill themselves, but that of the family members who spend years trying their best to care for their loved ones, many of which end up injured and sometimes killed by the person they are trying to take care of. One of the saddest stories happened here in Alabama when a teenage boy killed both his parents, and severely injured his siblings, several years ago. This family could not get any help from authorities or physicians, because the boy "had not actually harmed them" YET. The Soloist is a hauntingly beautiful, deeply moving story of a gifted musician who is unable to make health, cleanliness or other basic choices in life. Therefore he is "free". But everyone around him, everyone who loves him is TRAPPED in a vicious cycle of needing to help him, of continuing to hope, and of fighting the illusion that he CAN be helped. Nathaniel Ayers life has VALUE. God created Nathaniel. God created our sweet daughter. What we learned, over many, many years, is that God also created these special people to be adults, in whatever shape or form that is. And that God releases us, as their parents, as their caretakers, to also take care of ourselves. I fear that our society and our nation have not done well by those who truly need help the most, and cannot help themselves, while continuing to subsidize those who are ABLE BODIED. And the answers are not simple. But they are WORTH seeking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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