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joyce

Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.

ratings
81
REVIEWS
49
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
66

  • The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Melanie Benjamin
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (653)

    For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

    Audrey says: "The Megalomaniac's Wife"
    "Too many words! Overlook that & enjoy the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book begs for editing, as the author writes conversations that creep so slowly they become silly, and it sometimes seems like she was getting paid by the word. THAT said....
    Give this book a chance, and it becomes a fascinating portrait of a smart, talented and accomplished woman, daughter of a politician and a suffragette, who marries the man of her dreams and is immediately strapped into the back seat; in the plane, in their life, and in the public's eye. Hard enough, in the 1930's, to be a woman who wants to use her brain. Add to that being married to the world's first superstar, hounded by media worldwide, envied by all for her 'luck', and being expected to be the perfect Mrs. while her own considerable skills as aviatrix and author are ignored. A dead baby, a Nazi-loving husband, secret wives and children in other countries, and a woman who takes back her power and her life without any bitterness, caring for her husband as he dies of cancer. It really becomes a great, big, generational saga.
    As the author notes, writing a historical novel has an advantage over a biography; the author is not confined to depicting what happened when, but can insert emotions. The 'whys' of what happened and when can be explored, using diaries and info from friends and family. That is one of the reasons why I enjoy historical novels more than history, which I do love.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (973)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (463)

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"
    "interesting bit of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second book by McCullough that I have read. It is a very interesting account of events surrounding the Johnstown flood, which I had been taught was just the result of a 100-year storm. But still, I think McCullough can't hold a candle to Timothy Egan, who makes American history stories leap off the page like Indiana Jones, or something!
    I do like listening to Edward Herrmann's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Judy Melinek, MD, T. J. Mitchell
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (506)

    Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple.

    R. Milam says: "Great story - but not for the faint of heart!"
    "A brand new, enthusiastic, NYC M.E. tells all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well-written and really interesting, but maybe not for the squeamish. However, the reader is completely ridiculous. Yes, it's a 'memoir', but come on, lady, you are reading graphic descriptions of accidental deaths and clinical dissections, it's not StoryTime at pre-school! The golly-gee-whiz inflection used for the author and her dopey male voices nearly ruin this fascinating book with continual irritation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into That Forest

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Louis Nowra
    • Narrated By Lisbeth Kennelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (150)

    Two girls survive a terrible flood in the Tasmanian bush and are rescued by a pair of Tasmanian tigers who raise them in the wild. Their story of survival is remarkable, as they adapt to the life of the tiger, learning to hunt and to communicate without the use of human language. When they are discovered and returned to civilization, neither can adapt to being fully human after their extraordinary experience. Totally believable, their story will both shock and captivate listeners as it explores the animal instincts that lie beneath our civilized veneer.

    Gillian says: "Excellent Narration of a Dramatic Story"
    "a kids' book that had me gripped me by the throat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The perfect narration of this story of an elderly Aussie woman, in her quavery voice and old regional speech patterns, as she recalls incidents of her childhood, is what raises this simple adventure story to a book with a lasting presence. For young adults, it will start discussions about what makes us civilized, what is a family, the nature of love, interspecies communication, and our responsibility to other species on the planet. As an adult, I was mesmerized by the performance of the reader. Her depiction of a child's experience of loss, and fighting fiercely to keep hold of the next thing, and lifelong regret and sadness, is so real and wrenching. A slow start, but then exciting and haunting.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Edward Steers
    • Narrated By William Coon
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is usually told as a tale of a lone deranged actor who struck from a twisted lust for revenge. This is not only too simple an explanation; Blood on the Moon reveals that it is completely wrong. John Wilkes Booth was neither mad nor alone in his act of murder. He received the help of many, not the least of whom was Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd, the Charles County physician who has been portrayed as the innocent victim of a vengeful government.

    Alan says: "Terrific listen."
    "Fascinating! so much we never learned in school"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am full of admiration for the author, as the amount of research behind this book and the thoroughness of it are mind-boggling. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is not very interested in learning about the assassination of President Lincoln. It is extremely detailed, with virtually every fact being supported by quotes from printed media, private letters, police files, court documents, government sources, or photographs. Very rarely, when that last shred of proof cannot be found, the author presents his opinion (rather confidently), and moves on.
    All in all, this is an amazing achievement. I learned an immense amount of my own country's history, was enthralled by the man (Lincoln) himself, and now I understand why he is beloved, and such an icon. The description of his funeral, and then the huge crowds meeting the funereal train carrying his body back to Indiana was vividly brought to life, and was very moving.
    It's not historical fiction, it's not Bill O'Reilly, so save your credit there.
    If you are a history buff, or a Lincoln buff, or a civil war buff....this is fascinating. This is the one to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jack Olsen
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    For twenty-five years, the trusted family doctor in a small Wyoming town had been raping and molesting the women and children who most relied on him. Mostly Mormons, the naive victims sometimes realized on their wedding nights the truth about what had happened in Dr. Story's office.

    Jennifer says: "A + for true crime fans"
    "This story is so, so disturbing; how can this be?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The doctor was a sociopath, rapist and sadist who couldn't have stumbled into a better position; replacing the only doctor in a small, rural, heavily Mormon town. The sexual innocence of the Mormon women and their total obeisance to men gave him 25 years to indulge his sick urges with Mormon women, girls, and babies.
    Jack Olsen's account is detailed and spellbinding from beginning to end. When, finally, a legal investigation is begun, the problems seem insurmountable. Sex is a taboo subject for Mormon women. Doc the sociopath has charmed many in the town.
    There is another disturbing dimension, that the doctor is not Mormon, and heads his own Christian church in town. An ugly anti-Mormon tone starts to dominate the case, and the victims are shunned and blamed as Doc faces the justice system.
    The spectre of religious hatreds tearing a community apart, while abused women are blamed for causing all the trouble and the littlest victims of a truly evil child molester are ignored, is so confusing, so upsetting...and this happened in the 1980's! It sounds like another century, but it's not! It's just hard to believe, and the recording is hard to turn off. Excellent investigative reporting, and excellent, unemotional 'just-the-facts-ma'am' narration that suits this True Crime story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated By David Atlas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (372)

    >In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings - until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

    Lee Chemel says: "Exquisite"
    "I relished this. Extraordinary."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't add much more to the praise that has been heaped on this magnificent achievement of authorship. But I must say, this rare book made me experience a range of emotions on a gut level; literally, as the description of one POW's beating brought on dizzying waves of nausea. I raged with (not proud to admit this) hatred for the Japanese, and their cultural teachings about cruelty and pride, so white-hot I could barely sit still to listen to some passages. The small kindnesses that the POWs used to keep their humanity in captivity moved me so deeply, I found myself praying for these characters, longing for their release like they were my own kin. The strength they found in themselves, used for each other, seems of divine provenance. I was....can't describe it. 'Lifted'.
    The author's ability to so deftly weave the depths of depravity that humans can reach right along side the heights of selfless love is just brilliant! He is just brilliant!
    It's been a week since I finished this book, and I have not been able to start another. Nothing seems interesting enough after the extraordinary experience of listening to "The Narrow Road to the Deep North".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dept. of Speculation

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jenny Offill
    • Narrated By Jenny Offill
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (186)

    "The Wife" once exchanged love letters with her husband, coyly postmarked the Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes -the arrival of a child and, later, a lover - the Wife puzzles over the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and romantic love.

    W. Spradlin says: "Offill. Truly awful."
    "I love a story told in a different way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a story we all know--young love, the excitement of everything new, making plans, marriage, baby comes, routines start, someone gets restive and the poop hits the fan.
    This short, wonderful book is the story told by an omniscient third person, describing bits of 'the wife's' memories, sweet, stinging, sad, terse, & revealing.
    And my description is light years from how witty, and profound, and stunning this book is. Fantastic, really.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (221)

    Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open.

    Mel says: "Still Waters Run Deep"
    "DANGER: TESTOSTERONE FUMES MAY IGNITE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a man's man's book! killin', and more killin', and stalkin', and huntin', and bad guys, and police detectives, chase scenes, and Boobs! bouncing, floating, saucy and smirking.
    (sigh)
    The reader is very good. The book is well-written--interesting internal dialog, as the hot-headed multiple murderer keeps telling himself what a good man he is--but the testosterone storm was really too much for this reader. And, a weird ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27679)
    Performance
    (24490)
    Story
    (24556)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "you've heard it already-it's excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All-around great listening experience: very good readers, tight writing that pulls you through the story, terrifically plotted, every character layered and interesting at least and flesh-crawling-creepy at worst, and an unexpected ending that becomes, upon reflection, somewhat comforting, considering....
    What a great trick the author has played here! Amazing book, talented author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Mercies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (278)

    Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined.

    MissSusie66 says: "Powerful story"
    "just awful; but Rudd's emoting could ruin ANY book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book on a serious subject trivialized by immature prose, big holes in logic, and a quick tied-up-in-a-bow ending. The main character is a social worker who has an arguably understandable excuse for accidentally leaving her baby in a hot car, but all she can do is shrill 'I didn't know I didn't know!' at doctors, cops, everybody; no explanation is ever attempted. The ridiculous narrator does hysteria very well, until you want to hit her with a Taser. Then there's the secondary story line about the street-smart little girl, wise beyond her years, yadda yadda......all just too tiresome to go into.
    Publishing this book was a shameful waste of resources! Zero stars, if I could.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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