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P. Bergh

NH | Member Since 2013

128
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 261 ratings
  • 342 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Tom Ryan
    • Narrated By Tom Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (390)

    A middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaper editor Tom Ryan and a little dog, Atticus M. Finch, are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter. Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation....

    Douglas C. Bates says: "A True Story of Personal Transformation"
    "The Little Dog (and the Big Man) That Could!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a NH resident and hiker, I've known about this book for awhile. I decided to download it because of its local interest, though I confess I had low expectations. I was surprisingly pleased. It is a fabulous book! While the book is, in part, like most "pet books" (a genre I usually avoid), it is also a book about a lost man who finds himself though the care and caring of one amazing animal. It is also about the power of community--how people come together to help, whether it is his readers in Newburyport MA, the hiking community, or Atticus-lovers from around the country. The author also writes much of his troubled relationship with his father and how, in his quest with Atticus, he comes to grips with his dad, and realizes that so much of what is important in his life he got from his father. The book is read by the author--and generally he does a good job. There are a few places where his Boston accent comes through pretty heavy, but, in my opinion, it lends to the story. Again, as a local author, his success with his book has been a news item in NH. My understanding is that it is in the Top 10 for New England Independent Book Publishers and has been selected for the local One Book/One Valley community read. If you liked "Marlie and Me," you will love "Following Atticus."

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Asymmetry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lisa Halliday
    • Narrated By Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (90)

    Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, "Folly", tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War.

    Mary says: "Loved it. "
    "Brilliant writing and production, but disjointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this book, with its wonderful prose and fabulous readers, was both pleasurable and frustrating. It feels like half a book or two or three short stories. I was actually kind of surprised, since NYT gave it such a glowing review. That said, I do think the author is someone to watch, as her ability to craft dialogue and description is really rather remarkable. Now, she just needs to work on story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Water Knife

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Almarie Guerra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2865)
    Performance
    (2614)
    Story
    (2609)

    In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg breaker, assassin, and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet while the poor get nothing but dust.

    Lore says: "The fight for water in a drought fueled apocalypse"
    "Thought-provoking Environmental Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't read many thrillers, but found this one both well-written and, unless we're careful, startlingly close to what the truth may be. The beginning 1/3 takes a bit of work, but the final half is riveting. Westerners have been fighting for water rights since first settling. The fight, in Water Knife, paints a frightening picture of what happens when that fight turns desperate.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mike McIntyre
    • Narrated By Chris Brinkley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (335)

    Stuck in a job he no longer found fulfilling, journalist Mike McIntyre felt his life was quickly passing him by. So one day he hit the road to trek from one end of the country to the other with little more than the clothes on his back and without a single penny in his pocket. Through his travels, he found varying degrees of kindness in strangers from all walks of life - and discovered more about people and values and life on the road in America than he'd ever thought possible.

    Thistle says: "An amazing journey well told"
    "Interesting, but dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the audio recording is new (2014), the book itself was written back in the 1990s. While it was an okay book, the fact that it is so old makes it far less desirable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jean M. Auel
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5400)
    Performance
    (4413)
    Story
    (4422)

    Here is the saga of a people who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear; how they lived; the animals they hunted; the great totems they revered. But mostly it is the story of Ayla, the girl they found and raised, who was not like them. To the Clan, her fair looks make her different - ugly.

    Dan says: "Riveting"
    "Needs to be re-recorded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the story is okay--and an interesting window into archaic peoples' lifestyle--the recording is very dated and reader very amateurish. The reader sounds like she is recording a children's book and it sounds like it was a cassette recording that was first done when the book first came out.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1858)
    Performance
    (1612)
    Story
    (1645)

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Mel says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Well read, twisty plot, great history, but l-o-n-g"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the Luminaries: a fascinating account of gold fields of New Zealand. The characters are all colorful, very Dickens-like, and the book is very well read. The biggest challenge is that there are many characters and it is very long. Even listening regularly, it is easy to get a bit confused, particularly as the book jumps around date-wise a bit. That being said, it is a really good book and deserved of its awards and accolades.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2349)
    Performance
    (1651)
    Story
    (1666)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Sara says: "A Fascinating History"
    "Not his best work, interesting but too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think Timothy Egan is a great writer and have enjoyed a number of his other books -- particularly Short Nights. Like his other books, I found this one covered a fascinating, little known era of American history, the dust bowl drama of the 1930s, but found it covered the same ground way too long (think 100 pages of listening about dust storms) without the same drama or depth of his more recent works. It's an interesting book, but I was glad to be finished with it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3926)
    Performance
    (3562)
    Story
    (3571)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries. Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive.

    Mel says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Historical western fiction worthy of McCarthy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Son provides an entertaining, long-arc view of Texas; it is a family drama that covers 150+ years in a fast paced, well researched way. The family's generations takes a bit of figuring out (wonder if there's a family tree printed in book?), but becomes clearer as book progresses.

    This is a great book and I was sad when it was done. I've read most of Cormac McCarthy, including his trilogy. This is almost as well written, with its share of frontier harshness.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • 1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18001)
    Performance
    (15398)
    Story
    (15432)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    T Cyr says: "Excellent Reader of a Visionary Classic"
    "Kinda dated, dragged on"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book on sale. While I'm glad I read it, it felt very dated. While the story seems relevant given today's news of cyber-spying, I don't think this book really helped shed much light on news of today. I think it does a much better job of shedding light on pre-WWII Germany/rise of Hitler/Russia communism-era. I think Orwell is a fabulous writer, but I'd take Animal Farm and Burmese Days over this hands down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Narrated By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (358)

    Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Fans of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was a member of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.

    P. Bergh says: "A story for all daughters"
    "A story for all daughters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this as a fan of TTW, not expecting much... after all, it was a book about women and I am a guy. Within minutes, I was drawn in deeply. Ms. Williams shares what it means to be a daughter, a woman, a wife, a child of LDS upbringing, a writer, a birder in a way that is magical. Her writing, as always, is lyrical and thoughtful--improved on this audio version by her own reading. I plan to buy copies of this book for the women in my life for mothers day.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Land More Kind Than Home

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Wiley Cash
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan, Lorna Raver, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (423)

    For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to - an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared.

    Cindy says: "So good it made me cry!"
    "Nice story, but not great -- somewhat formulaic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't real moving for me. The plot arc was fairly conventional, even predictable. The characters somewhat typical, with none being truly lovable. The book is read by a few readers--some good, others less so.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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