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Douglas

Huffman, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 82 ratings
  • 198 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
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  • Joseph Smith: A Prophet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Donald W. Hemingway
    • Narrated By Marvin Payne
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Live in the period of 1830-1844. Feel the personal thoughts of Brewster Cabot who followed, loved, and suffered persecution with one proclaimed to be a prophet, Joseph Smith, the man who started The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    kathy says: "I expected much more than I received."
    "Vert good if you understand what you are getting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is not a biography of Joseph Smith but rather a series of journal entries from a fictitious character who is an early convert to Mormonism. This character takes the listener through the process of his conversion, his gathering to Zion in Kirtland, Missouri, and Nauvoo and the persecutions and troubles of those time periods. The character interacts with Joseph Smith along the way but this is not a book about Joseph Smith per se. As a convert, the character portrays the events through the lens of a believer though the author includes the other side of the story via apostates or the main character's own internal debates as events unfold.

    I found the book entertaining and a worthwhile listen because I understood what the book was before I started. In that regard, the title of the book is misleading. The author's portrayal of historical events were accurate and his writing style was very appropriate to the time period and kept me engaged. If you are interested in learning more about the early history of the LDS Church in an entertaining way then you will enjoy this book.

    I will not spoil the ending but there is a twist at the end that some reviewers did not like. Though I knew something was coming, the twist caught me by complete surprise and I thought that it was an incredible move by the author (in a good way). It proved to me that the author was out to write a great book and not just follow a traditional script.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goose Girl: Book One of the Books of Bayern

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Shannon Hale
    • Narrated By Cynthia Bishop
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Princess Anidori-Kiladra of Kildenree was born with a word on her tongue, and a secret magic. Though she is raised in luxury, she is never quite comfortable with who she is, or what she is to become. Then she is sent on a journey to marry an unknown prince. The trip is difficult, and before it is finished all her expectations are overturned. Alone, friendless, stripped of her crown and her title, Ani must learn to make her own path in the world. Along the way, she just might learn to be a princess.

    S. Glanzer says: "good fun"
    "Surprisingly Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to Goose Girl to preview it for our children ages 7-11. I frankly didn't want to listen to it but was cajoled into it by my wife since I have a long commute. It took me a little while to warm to it but it captured my interest and held it all the way to the end. I think that it is age appropriate for my kids but wish that the author had left out or toned down the story of why the women of Bayern travel with their husbands to war which seemed inappropriate. For a children's book she could have also left out the numerous "bed" references especially at the end. Note that there is a some violence and murder but not gratuitous.

    The narrative was really well done with different readers for each of the characters and music during the transitions that elevated the audio quality far above the typical single-narrator book. A Classic! Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Terryl Givens, Fiona Givens
    • Narrated By Fiona Givens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (32)

    "Whether by design or by chance," Terryl and Fiona Givens write, "we find ourselves in a universe filled with mystery. We encounter appealing arguments for a Divinity that is a childish projection, for prophets as scheming or deluded imposters, and for scripture as so much fabulous fiction. But there is also compelling evidence that a glorious Divinity presides over the cosmos, that His angels are strangers we have entertained unawares, and that His word and will are made manifest through a sacred canon that is never definitively closed."

    Jennifer says: "To bad this level of thought isn't taught."
    "So engaging that I listened to it twice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As a graduate-degreed, church-going Christian not many discussions of the Fall of Adam, Free Agency, or the Atonement of Christ fully engage my soul because I have heard it all so many times, particularly at the foundational level. What the Givenses accomplished with this book is to elevate the narrative to a higher realm of intelligence that challenges your mind while fully engaging your heart. I found myself thinking time and again that they had just put to words what I believe to be true but could not express as completely as they do.

    I really enjoyed the narration by Fiona Givens because (1) I like British accents and (2) I believe that a work as spiritual and personal as this one is enhanced by the author's own voice.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    What do we really know about modern practicing polygamists - not fictional ones like the Henrickson family on HBO’s Big Love? We’ve seen the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the news, the underage brides in pioneer dresses on a Texas ranch. But the FLDS is just one of many groups that have broken with mainstream Mormonism to follow those parts of Joseph Smith’s doctrine disavowed by the LDS Church. Gaining unprecedented access to these communities, journalist Sanjiv Bhattacharya reveals a shadow country....

    J. Simonton says: "Hard listen and not that interesting"
    "Great stories (+), religious amateur hour (-)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is an interesting travelogue of Sanjiv's interactions with some very colorful personalities within the various polygamous groups in Utah as well as those who have left (escaped) the culture. While the stories are fascinating at times, most of the experiences that Sanjiv chooses to focus on are full of abuse and neglect and are at their core quite depressing. Sanjiv lightens the mood through humorous jabs at his subjects, their towns, and especially their faith. I strongly prefer audio books to be professionally narrated (not performed by the author) but it really worked in this case. It is like Sanjiv is telling you all of these crazy experiences over dinner complete with his endearing British accent. 5 stars for the narration.

    My problems with Sanjiv's book and the reason why I gave the story only 3 stars are twofold. First, he is obnoxiously dismissive and mocking of the Mormon religion. I am active LDS. It doesn't bother me at all if people disagree with the tenets of the faith or poke fun at the idiosyncrasies of Mormons as a subculture. I'm cool with that, I think that Mormons are funny too. But if Sanjiv is going to call Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon a fraud and mock them mercilessly throughout the book, he better do his homework. His "teardown" of the faith was religious amateur hour and a book this long deserved a little more rigor than that. He seems to have given no serious consideration to the other side of the argument at all. In the end, the tone of the book was that of a smug, liberal atheist from LA swooping in to mock and disparage religious conservatives in small town Utah.

    My second problem with the book is that Sanjiv really drills in when he finds abuse, oddities and "dirt" but seems uninterested in the truly happy families. When he meets wonderful people at Centennial Park and The Rock he simply says that they are great and then he talks about the flies or Bollywood flicks and curry. After seeing all of the problems in polygamy, why didn't these examples spark more intellectual curiosity? What are these people doing right? Aren't the positive cases as intellectually interesting and deserving as the scandalous ones? Apparently not for Sanjiv who seems more interested in proving a point (polygamy is evil) than understanding a multi-faceted issue. Sanjiv likes incest, abuse, intrigue, and suspense. But throw a happy community in his path and he doesn't know what to do with it. The snarky atheist quickly runs out of questions. Uh...more banana bread, please? I do agree with Sanjiv that polygamy should be decriminalized, just don't expect him to be fair and balanced.

    All that said, it was still worth the price of admission.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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