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Johanna Turner

Mayfield, KY | Member Since 2012

ratings
9
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Countess of Carnarvon
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (236)

    Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS series, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.

    connie says: "the lowdown on Downton times"
    "I bet it's better than the TV show"
    Overall
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    Story

    Historical books set in Great Britain, in particular early 20th century, are just my cup of tea. My son and his wife keep pushing me to watch Downton Abbey, but my husband and I just don't do much TV, so this book was an obvious choice. It did NOT disappoint.

    While I have read many books based around WWII events, this is the first that covered WWI and, I must say, it was surprising to me that I had not looked at this era in more depth - but now I intend to. Lady Almina was a remarkable woman, as were most of her "supporting characters", in particular her longsuffering husband, George, Earl of Carnarvon. The people in this era were so much more accomplished and diligent, to say nothing of educated, than we are today. It puts me to shame, but also encourages me to learn and do more.

    Wanda McCaddon is my favorite narrator of books in need of a British accent, and she was superb in the "Real Downton Abbey". I could hardly quit listening and was sorry when it ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (7843)
    Performance
    (4564)
    Story
    (4549)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Great book, horrible narration"
    Overall
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    I have read all of Ken Follett's books, including the other 2 in the trilogy (on paper), so I was excited to get to listen to this one. The story is well-written, but it sounds as if it is being broadcast on the news. When I first started listening, I thought the reader was purposefully sounding dramatic to introduce the story, but I soon found out that this is his actual reading voice. And I need to add that I have listened to many books where the reader was heavily criticized for fake accents, etc. and enjoyed them thoroughly. This is a different level altogether - no intonation, no emotion, just that broadcaster effect.

    That said, Mr. Follett's writing never fails to please, it's just a little painful to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Peter FitzSimons
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (320)

    In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis. What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers.

    Simone says: "Who The "BLEEP" is Nancy Wake??"
    "Where has this woman been all my life?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always had a big interest in WWII, but happened to read about Nancy Wake while browsing for history books. What? Who? Huh? This incredible Australian's life reads like fiction, but it's absolutely true. Why did I not learn about her in school?

    Nancy may have been able to get down and dirty with the best of them, but what really makes this story unbelievable is that she was a beautiful woman who could play any part necessary to get what she wanted. And what she wanted was justice for the jews and the WWII Allies. Incredible. The author does a great job of telling Nancy's story, including her formative childhood years - always a rebel. The Australian accent sounds spot on to my American ears, but you may want to take that with a grain of salt.

    As they said about Margaret Thatcher, she was many times the only man in the room. For why I did not learn about her in school 40 years ago, that's still a mystery, but her story needs to be told. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (362)

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    "Answers a lot of questions!"
    Overall
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    Story

    As a Food Network fan, Marcus Samuelsson had always intrigued me. A black chef from Sweden? A gentle, soft-spoken chef on Chopped? Something didn't add up! This book explains that, and more, and Marcus' reading was the icing on the Princesstårta, so to speak.

    My DH and I had actually eaten at his restaurant (sent by our hotel concierge) in NYC many years ago and still talk about the wonderful experience we had. If only we had known who he was then! And until I read the book, I was still ignorant about his connection with Aquavit (embarrassing, but true)!

    Marcus' story is sweet, intriguing, and brutally honest. Without his two mothers, he wouldn't be where he is today (literally and figuratively). And the fact that he doesn't hide his warts or make excuses for them, lets us be disappointed at times (encourages us to, in fact) is endearing. This is so much more than a book about a cook, and yet all the pieces add up to why he is such a popular, beloved, down-to-earth man who happens to be a world-reknowned chef. Even if you aren't interested in cooking, you will be fascinated by the very human Marcus Samuelsson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Helaine Olen
    • Narrated By Lyn Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    For the past few decades, Americans have spent billions of dollars on personal finance products. As salaries have stagnated and companies have cut back on benefits, we've taken matters into our own hands, embracing the can-do attitude that if we're smart enough, we can overcome even daunting financial obstacles. But that's not true. In this meticulously reported and shocking audiobook, journalist and former financial columnist Helaine Olen goes behind the curtain of the personal finance industry to expose the myths, contradictions, and outright lies it has perpetuated.

    Johanna Turner says: "The dark side of my industry"
    "The dark side of my industry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read a review of this book in one of the financial magazines I receive as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner. I was intrigued by the expose and had to learn more. As a "fee-only" planner, I have my own jaded view of the financial industry. Ms. Olen started studying brokerages and so-called financial planners with zero financial knowledge, which makes it even more interesting that she was able to go so far in her research and understanding of the industry.

    Pound Foolish is a book that anyone who uses a broker, buys life insurance or annuities, or who is interested in finding a "financial planner" should read. Why the quote marks? Because most of the people who call themselves "planners" or "advisers" are sales wolves in sheep's clothing.

    Ms. Olen hit the right notes for 80% of the book, but I beg to differ with the last 20% that we are all the same (which is the reason for the 4-star rating). While I can totally understand her disenchantment with the overall industry, there are some white knights (mostly fee-only planners and financial LIFE planners). Just know that they make up maybe 5% of the total number of "advisers", maybe less. Why? Because commissions are SO much more lucrative. Typical "advisers" in this industry are trained in sales almost exclusively to the point of crowding out any education about how to truly help their clients. This is why it is so easy for consumers to fall prey to them. Sad.

    Use this book as a starting point, then seek out planners who are members of NAPFA and/or the Kinder Institute. Also find a "professional" who is willing to SIGN A STATEMENT that they are a fiduciary. You'll thank me later!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarum: The Novel of England

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (314)

    In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.

    Gordon says: "Most enjoyable"
    "Absorbing read for anyone into English history"
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    Where does Sarum rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well, I love all the audiobooks I've listened to - if I don't, I just return it using Audible.com's amazingly generous return policy. But this is my second book by Mr. Rutherford (first being about New York) and I love his writing and detail. Yes, some of the vignettes start and are not followed through to completion, but this is not a collection of short stories. It's historical fiction and the fact that he drops off in one year and picks up a century or two later is part of the fun to me. I especially love the way that he continues the thread of a few families through history and inserts little events that casually draw you back to the ancestors of the family.One of the odd pleasures, to me, of listening to a book that is rich with a lot of detail, like Sarum, is that I am prevented from paging back and trying to re-learn every detail of that person. I don't know about you, but I guess I'm OCDC enough that I can't quit looking back and forth in a written book because I have to visualize the whole history and don't want to "miss" a detail - which makes it take about twice as long for me to get through a long history. With the spoken word, I just listen carefully and back up a minute or two if I get distracted while I'm listening. Missing tiny details doesn't bother me so much because I'm soon engrossed in the current section and they become inconsequential.On the whole, I would highly recommend this book (especially Wanda McCaddon, who has her own section below).


    What other book might you compare Sarum to and why?

    New York: The Novel (also by Edward Rutherfurd)


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

    Can't imagine a better reader - she was just wonderful.


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

    Well, it would be impossible for me, but it is definitely hard to quit listening.


    Any additional comments?

    If you think you just don't like history, give one of Edward Rutherfurd's books a try. I intend to listen to more books by him and also more read by Ms. McFaddon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An American Son: A Memoir

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Marco Rubio
    • Narrated By Marco Rubio
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Few politicians have risen to national prominence as quickly as Marco Rubio. At age 41 he's the subject of widespread interest and speculation. But he has never before told the full story. His U.S. Senate campaign started as an extreme long shot against Florida's popular incumbent governor, Charlie Crist. Undaunted by the early poll numbers and the time away from his wife and kids, Rubio traveled the state with his message of empowerment and optimism. He upset Crist in both the primary and a dramatic three-way general election.

    Johanna Turner says: "I admire Marco Rubio even more now"
    "I admire Marco Rubio even more now"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Would you listen to An American Son again? Why?

    No, but I would recommend it to others to read


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Next to Marco? There are so many - probably his grandfather and Marco's wife


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

    He has a great reading voice - I felt as if he was telling me his story.


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

    Not necessarily.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Night to Remember

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Walter Lord
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Eleven storeys high, a sixth of a mile long and a list of passengers collectively worth 250 million dollars…On 10th April 1912 the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic left Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York. At 11.40pm on the 14th April, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and was lost. 1,500 people died in the freezing sea. Legends and stories grew and even now the whole affair still sends shivers down the spine.

    kieran says: "A really enjoyable read"
    "Like I was there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Night to Remember the most enjoyable?

    The author's voice really fits the era - as if it were recorded at the time of the accident


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Night to Remember?

    The conversations were very interesting - seriously as if I were there as an observer.


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

    See above


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it totally drew me in to the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommend this to anyone who wants to really "get it" about the Titanic. You won't be bored for a minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2498)
    Performance
    (1234)
    Story
    (1238)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "You'll never look at the world the same again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up At Home in three words, what would they be?

    enlightening, fascinating, absorbing


    What did you like best about this story?

    The "real" stories about everyday things we take for granted (tea, for example) and how they came to be was extended to far away places and tied up in a big, fascinating package.


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

    His reading his own book in an authentic (but easily understood) British accent made the book that much more entertaining.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The only part I could have left out was the last 5 minutes on global warming. Otherwise, I learned more from this book than I have from many others - and it was a very fun trip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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