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Pat

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 121 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Janny Scott
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (34)

    Barack Obama has written extensively about his father, but little is known about Stanley Ann Dunham, the fiercely independent woman who raised him, the person he credits for, as he says, "what is best in me." Here is the missing piece of the story.

    Amazon Customer says: "What a Woman!"
    ""Always on the outside looking in""
    Overall

    J. Scott's research pieces the details of S. Ann Dunham's life. Her life as a caring, loving mother to two inter-racial children; her hardships as a single mother with an inter-racial child growing up in the 60's in Hawaii & Indonesia; and her devoted research as an anthropologist working in Indonesia. No matter your politics, this is an interesting account of Ann's life that ultimately affected the world and basically changed history. The book has alot of detail about Indonesia and gets technical at times. As a daughter of an Italian mother who left her entire family to move to the US, I remained intrigued by Ann's need to always go back to Indonesia and somehow live a life as someone on the outside looking in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6107)
    Performance
    (5422)
    Story
    (5420)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Favored by many...NOT FOR ME"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Big thumbs down for this read! How many words can you use to describe a tent? or contrasting black and white garments and fabric? The character development is awful. You might really enjoy this if you read tarot cards on a regular basis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caleb's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (379)

    In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex....

    Mary Sue says: "Another good entry into fiction!"
    "Great history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of the author-Geraldine Brooks. People of the Book was a memorable read. So I decided to give this novel a try.

    Although fiction, this book was inspired by a true story. The college of Newtowne was founded in 1636 and is now called Harvard and the total number of graduates in the 17th century was only 465. Caleb was a Wopanaak born on the island of Noepe now known as Martha's Vineyard and one of the first Indians admitted to Harvard in 1661.

    Brooks has a gift of taking historical material and letting her imagination create a wonderful story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2876)
    Performance
    (2519)
    Story
    (2523)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    Marci says: "I Miss Her"
    "It's a long walk for an ice cream cone."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a dual story combined so honestly by the author. One part of the novel is sharing her life which includes dropping off what most of us perceive as life's trail and the other part of the novel is describing her journey hiking on the Pacific Coast Trail. It's a long walk for an ice cream cone at the East Wind Drive-In near Cascade Locks.

    I love Cheryl Strayed's honesty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (676)
    Story
    (677)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "Should be required reading for EVERY student."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every high school student should read an abridged version of this book!

    An oral history, work of literature and academic study of Ida Mae, Robert, and George who all left the South with six million other African Americans between 1916--1970 to seek a better life in the North.

    The book is 660 pages long and the author intertwines the stories of these three characters (who never meet each other) as they leave the South and faced the America of the North (New York and Detroit), Midwest (Chicago) and West (Los Angeles). The author tells their stories while also giving the story of the era. The author captures the people and an era in a way that makes you just want to keep reading this very long book.

    It's a very insightful book about a part of American history that we tend to ignore and remains too little known to all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Bee: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chris Cleave
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1428)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (714)

    British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, come across Little Bee and her sister, Nigerian refugees fleeing from machete-wielding soldiers intent on clearing the beach. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.

    Katerina says: "Good book, well told"
    "Tricky ending giving you hope."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! This story takes you in immediately. The book is about a relationship between Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee that has learned how to talk like the Queen and Sarah, a British magazine editor. So many things happen to Little Bee in this book, both horrible and loving. Not every character in this book is likeable, at times the book gets a little to poignant and a few chapters are hard to read as the horribleness is divulged. The ending is tricky and leaves you filled with hope.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ben MacIntyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

    Pat says: "From conman, thief & jailbird to a double agent."
    "From conman, thief & jailbird to a double agent."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agent Zigzag starts out life as a conman, thief and jailbird. The beginning of the book starts out with a bang, literally out the window of fancy resort running from the cops. Eddie Chapman is Zig Zag and he becomes a key British double agent.

    Zig Zag is recruited by the Germans, who occupied the Channel Islands where he was jailed. Chapman is trained by the Nazis and deploys on his first mission into England where he promptly surrenders to the Brits, who put him to work deceiving the Nazis with false intelligence.

    Chapman’s true story is similar to page-turning fiction: charming multiple women, close calls with the law and spying.

    I could not keep up with the Double spying codes and directions given to Eddie. I would have screwed up in the first interview with the Nazis and sent to the camps. Eddie was gifted with his craftiness.

    One last point, technology was so primitive in WWII compared to how information was shared today. Memorizing codes was so key to being successful.

    Very informative story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4714)
    Performance
    (2122)
    Story
    (2131)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "Mystical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some reason I could not stop listening until I was finished with the story. Although sometimes segmented, the story is eloquently told. The medical descriptions of the trauma experienced by patients visiting the hospital and the trauma experienced by the main characters will make you cringe in discomfort; the mystical relationships of the characters in this book will make you wonder; and living the life of these two twins by paging through this book will make you appreciate life, it's hardships and it's happiness.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Alison Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (199)

    When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters....

    Mary says: "Fast, Moving, Descriptive & Informative!"
    "Wow! I learned so much about an unknown."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I winced through a part of this story which describes a brutal killing on a train but it just doesn't compare to the overall story of the Armenian Genocide, largely unknown to me. This historical fiction novel is well done and enlightens the reader about the Ottoman Empire's murder of more than 1.5 million Armenians by forcing them to march into the Syrian desert without food and water.

    The story is told in two time settings:
    A love story unfolds between Elizabeth an American who goes to Syria to provide medical attention to the Armenians. She meets Armen, an Armenian engineer who has lost his wife and child.

    The current day Laura, a novelist who comes upon her grandparents letters and diaries in an Armenian History Museum in MA and begins to research the story of her family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (3882)
    Performance
    (2451)
    Story
    (2477)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "A story for anyone who has visited a Dr's office!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story should be read/listened by every person who has walked into a doctors office! It's an engaging, horrific, true story set in current time and in 1950 at Johns Hopkins.

    It chronicles the life of the woman whose cancerous tissue became the first tissue in history which could be successfully grown as culture and used in various, and countless, experiments from vaccine research to cloning. Her tissue became virtually immortal. If you speak to anyone in the science world about Hela cells the response is " I used those cells for research starting in graduate school." Yet, very little was known about the woman who provided the first Hela cells herself, her life, her family, her history.... setting this author on a journey to find out and provide the reader with portraits of her family as well as an overview of medical ethics, history, culture and healthcare.

    Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman living in the suburbs of Baltimore, too poor to get good medical care,and died a horrible death,and yet she lives on.

    How can the scientific world progress so much and yet the family of Henrietta Lacks remained burdened with survival in society today trying to figure out what happened to their mother/grandmother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3841)
    Performance
    (3269)
    Story
    (3267)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "How far would you go to defend your family?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How far would you go to protect your family?

    A serious crime is committed in an upscale neighborhood and everyone becomes unhinged as the circumstances of the crime unfold.

    In a courtroom setting the writer combines legal and psycho. drama that keeps you turning the pages. Andy, Laurie and their son Jacob seem somewhat normal one day and as the case unfolds the reader is taken into the heart of this family that becomes shattered.

    Is 14 year old Jacob a typical moody teenager hanging out in his room listening to music on his ipod "touch" or is he a psychopathic monster.

    Great story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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