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J. D. Portnoy

Bookman Old Style

Sarasota, FL USA | Member Since 2012

ratings
8
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (175)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Ryan says: "Pride goeth before the fall"
    "Brilliant Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Flannnery O'Connor is probably the best writer the South has ever produced. In this collection she draws unforgettable characters, with her masterful use of language and an ingenious ear for dialogue. The performances are wonderful, some of the best I've heard. This is not just entertainment, although it certainly entertains, but literature. Very much worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jane Ridley
    • Narrated By Carole Boyd
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (52)

    Entertaining and different, this is an enjoyable study of a flawed yet characterful Prince of Wales seen through the eyes of the women in his life. Edward Vll, who gave his name to the Edwardian Age and died in 1911, was King of England for the final 10 years of his life. He was 59 when at last he came to the throne. Known as Bertie, the eldest son of Victoria and Albert, he was bullied by both his parents.

    Flatbroke says: "A charming pleasure-seeker who did the job his way"
    "I cried when I finished"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books I couldn't bear to put down. The writing is brilliant, the performance perfection itself, and the story mesmerizing. Gossip, history, fun, and enlightenment are all here, and Carole Boyd is absolutely dazzling in her rendition, mastering flawless pronunciation in several languages and acting worthy of an award. I recommend this book to all who enjoy history, biography, and the theatre of the ear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Beloved World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sonia Sotomayor
    • Narrated By Rita Moreno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (511)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (441)

    The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

    Jean says: "Overcoming proverty via education"
    "Warm, fuzzy, and bright, too!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't see how anyone could not like Sonia Sotomayor's book. She comes through as a compassionate, brave, brilliant, empathic, diplomatic, and so great a role model for girls, women, and the disenfranchised of any kind. And the performance by Rita Moreno, with its lovely Spanish pronunciations, is a pleasure to hear. Buy it, give it as a gift, and be glad we've got her on the Court.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of American Unreason

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Susan Jacoby
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (42)

    Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon - one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit, Jacoby surveys an antirationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought".

    T. Andrew Poehlman says: "Interesting, but explanation by redescription"
    "A very bad match!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Susan Jacoby's book is intelligent, thought-provoking, and worthy of anyone's time. However, the reader, Cassandra Campbell, was the worst possible choice to narrate this text, because she is unable to pronounce many, many names, as well as ordinary words. She is a perfect parody of everything Jacoby is trying to say, albeit the irony was surely not intended. To cite just one of her many gaffes, at once point she pronounces the name "Kristol," referring to Irving Kristol, as "ChrysTAL," as in the alcoholic beverage. This very good book deserves to be recorded again by someone better educated than this reader. Listen to the book if you have a strong tolerance for the ignorant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (342)

    In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits, denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts.

    C. J. Hamilton says: "Instant classic"
    "too much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to give up on this one, even though I am a believer in evolution and neuroscience. This book was too long and too pedantic, even for me. Human nature exists and is not totally changeable. It was evolved to fit the environment of millions of years ago, and sometimes causes great problems for everyone, everywhere today. We are not blank slates , basically beautiful and good savages, or predetermined vehicles of a benevolent power. Utopian schemes don't work because they don't take certain basic human instincts into account. We are imperfect creatures. If you want mind-numbing details on these fairly self-evident facts, dear reader, go to Mr. Pinker. I've gone out to lunch.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Rosina Harrison
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    In 1928, Rosina Harrison arrived at the illustrious household of the Astor family to take up her new position as personal maid to the infamously temperamental Lady Nancy Astor, who sat in Parliament, entertained royalty, and traveled the world. "She's not a lady as you would understand a lady" was the butler's ominous warning. But what no one expected was that the iron-willed Lady Astor was about to meet her match in the no-nonsense, whip-smart girl from the country.

    Linda Lou says: "AWFUL!! I was very disappointed."
    "Time Travel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun book for people who like to time-travel into the past, and into other kinds of lives. It's really a vacation and a wonderful escape. Heartily recommended for those with curiosity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Four Rooms, Upstairs: A Psychotherapist's Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother's Mental Illness

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Linda Appleman Shapiro
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Four Rooms, Upstairs - a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award - is the story of Linda Appleman Shapiro, an immigrant daughter who grew up on the top floor of a small home in 1940s Brooklyn, and struggled to understand her mentally ill mother. For years Linda tried to ignore the phases when her mother was "not herself." As the youngest child and only girl, Linda spent many days at home alone with her mother, watching her battle memories of loss and despair, unable to cope.

    lisa says: "Great insight into mental illness"
    "Nothing new here..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is not exactly time well spent, but it might be interesting to some in a sort of ho-hum way. There's really no surprises here, any first-year psychology student could come up with the same complaints about any disturbed parent, and I had the feeling Linda Shapiro should just get over it already!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Linda Appleman Shapiro again?

    I don't think I would listen to another book by this author, who seems to be to have a rather ordinary mind.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    None of the characters are especially memorable, but there's some nostalgic interest in the descriptions of the old neighborhood, which I know well, and the old days, to which I also belong.


    Was Four Rooms, Upstairs worth the listening time?

    It was o.k. as entertainment, mild, inoffensive, but finally too predictable.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in Pursuit of Health

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa M. Schwartz, Steven Woloshin
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    Going against the conventional wisdom reinforced by the medical establishment and Big Pharma that more screening is the best preventative medicine, Dr. Gilbert Welch builds a compelling counterargument that what we need are fewer, not more, diagnoses. Documenting the excesses of American medical practice that labels far too many of us as sick, Welch examines the social, ethical, and economic ramifications of a health-care system that unnecessarily diagnoses and treats patients.

    glamazon says: "Agreed, Too Many Medical Interventions"
    "A Must Read for All!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Overdiagnosed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is one of the best nonfiction titles ever from Audible. It answers many questions I've had about why so many people seem to be sick, why health care costs have escalated beyond belief, and why so many people are frightened by their own bodies and subjected to endless psychological and physical invasions by the medical establishment..


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Overdiagnosed?

    So many memorable moments and the feeling of enlightenment was so strong I listened to the book twice, and have recommended it to everyone I know. I feel we all owe it to ourselves, friends, and family to incorporate this information into our knowledge base to better deal with our world today.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Couldn't possibly listen to it in one sitting, but it merits going back to again and again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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