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Reading is the way I stay connected to the past, stimulating my imagination and curiosity; reminding me to keep history alive!

Member Since 2010

  • 4 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 101 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • Fever: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Mary Beth Keane
    • Narrated By Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mary Mallon was a courageous, headstrong Irish immigrant woman who bravely came to America alone, fought hard to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic service ladder, and discovered in herself an uncanny, and coveted, talent for cooking. Working in the kitchens of the upper class, she left a trail of disease in her wake, until one enterprising and ruthless "medical engineer" proposed the inconceivable notion of the "asymptomatic carrier" - and from then on Mary Mallon was a hunted woman.

    Margaret says: "Walk a mile in my shoes..."
    "Fever-Story of Typhoid Mary"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book only to someone who is interested in hearing a story about Typhoid Mary, but if that person wanted a stellar performance, I'd tell them to forget it.....because the narrator left quite a bit to be desired. She talked too fast, tried to sound like she had an Irish brogue, lacked emotion about 90% of the story, and made me think I was listening to a teenager who spoke like they were reading aloud, but did not FEEL the characters.....The story is fantastic, but I'd read it again before I'd listen to this narrator again. She was terrible!

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mary was my favorite character. I loved learning about what she went through to even get to America, and what she was accused of, and the discriminatory way she was treated. Talk about violation of someone's civil liberties!! Poor Mary was treated like a 3rd class citizen. If only this happened about 30 years later, after antibiotics were starting to be developed. I did feel Mary's pain and how hard she tried to keep herself strong. I admired her spirit and cannot blame her for one minute for going back to cooking, since it was never proven that SHE herself was then"cause" of those people's deaths from typhoid. What a tragic waste of a human being's life.....and the Department of Health owed her a huge apology. I hope no one ever forgets the sacrifice Mary made for science and the human condition!!

    How could the performance have been better?

    Having a person who didn't talk so fast, didn't fake an Irish accent, someone who put more emotion into the reading, and didn't just READ the story....If it weren't for the fact that I wanted to know more about the story behind Typhoid in the early 1900's , I would've asked for my money back on this one because of the terrible narration. She reminded me of how California teenagers used to enunciate their words back when "Valley Girl" talk was popular , I.e. "Oh my GOD!" Not the right person to read this story.

    If you could take any character from Fever out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Sloper, so I could pick his brain to get more scientific information from him about what he was studying, the progress in bacteriology being made at that time, and why they felt that Mary was such a high risk person, but the dairy farmer upstate wasn't , nor any of the other purported "carriers." ( I'm a medical professional so would be interested in this.)

    Any additional comments?

    Don't let that narrator read any more historical readings.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Frances Wilson
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the terrifying, chaotic night of April 14, 1912, while the Titanic was sinking, Bruce J. Ismay, the ship's owner, made a decision that would save his life - and end it. Ismay boarded a lifeboat meant for women and children, and within days became The Most Talked-of Man in the World. Branded a coward, he became a flesh-and-blood embodiment of Joseph Conrad's legendary eponymous character, Lord Jim.

    Pete says: "Not especially uplifting, but quite good"
    "Ismay's Titanic Story"
    If you could sum up How to Survive the Titanic in three words, what would they be?

    What a story!

    What other book might you compare How to Survive the Titanic to and why?

    The Exceptional Life of Anne Boleyn- Anne's rise to fame and fortune was so fast and her fall even faster. She was made out to be someone she wasn't, her reputation was then questionable, and she was not solely responsible for the problems in Henry the VIII's court, yet she ended up the scapegoat, paying for it with her life.
    How to Survive the Titanic was similar in that J. Bruce Ismay was used as a scapegoat by the public, although he alone was not at fault for the disaster, which this book exposed.

    What does Robin Sachs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A male British take on things....made it easier to comprehend.

    What did you learn from How to Survive the Titanic that you would use in your daily life?

    Had Ismay been more forthcoming & honest when describing events & occurrences, the public may have actually believed in him and sympathized/empathized with him. But because of his strict upbringing, he said as little as possible so as not to incriminate himself, or so he thought, and that had the exact opposite effect.
    Honesty and truthfulness should be used everyday and I do strive to maintain that quality. That way I can be true to myself.

    Any additional comments?

    Very, very interesting audiobook!! I think the very long chapter about James Conrad was TOO deviated a bit too far from the Ismay story, although I did understand the connection. I just thought it could've been shorter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Carolly Erickson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the New York Times best-selling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a powerful and moving novel about Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, who married him only days after the execution of Anne Boleyn and ultimately lost her own life in giving him the son he badly needed to guarantee the Tudor succession.

    Amazon Customer says: "More Fiction than History"
    "Favored Queen-A different take......"
    What made the experience of listening to The Favored Queen the most enjoyable?

    Hearing a woman narrate it, and hearing her emotion in her telling of this story.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously, Jane Seymour!!

    Have you listened to any of Kate Reading’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've not heard any other performance by Kate Reading.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Jane continued to care for her nephews after their father declared them not his own.

    Any additional comments?

    Most descriptions of Jane Seymour that I've read portray her as a mousey, dull, frail woman who had no personality...a drone....But this narrative gave me a different perspective, in that she was shown to be a young woman who was passionate in her beliefs, and was quite intelligent. She knew what she wanted and didn't seem afraid to get it, all the while maintaining a sense of self-respect. She was genuinely an honest woman who made the best of what she faced in a time when women were only bargaining tools in a world of greedy, self-indulgent rich men.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Great Harry: The Extravagant Life of Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carolly Erickson
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In lively, absorbing prose that rivals the finest literary fiction, prize-winning historian Carolly Erickson recreates the life of the notorious Tudor king, Henry VIII. In his youth as a charming national hero, his reign as a monstrous king, and his final days as a tottering old man, Erickson draws a thoroughly convincing portrait of one of English history’s most notorious characters.

    Terri says: "Very interesting/ intriguing history of Henry VIII"
    "Very interesting/ intriguing history of Henry VIII"
    What did you love best about Great Harry?

    The fact that this book covered his entire life, not just his time as King of England.It gave me a very detailed background of Henry's family & ancestors, as well as what was happening in Europe in the 15 th century. From that, I was able to piece together what made this monarch such a fascinating man in England's history. I've read many books on Henry VIII, but this one put together a lot of detail about what the European monarchies were like, and the other religious and political people who were behind the scenes, so to speak.

    What other book might you compare Great Harry to and why?

    Not sure right now.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The betrayal of Anne Boleyn.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The most Feared , Maniacal & Beloved Monarch of all time: Henry VIII

    Any additional comments?

    Because there is so much information to cover in this book, I felt it was all over the place at first, & I thought the narrator was without passion until about halfway through, but I kept listening and finally things were easier to follow, with a less

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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