Prayers for Sale was one of my favorite listens so far, in part because I absolutely loved the story, but also because the performance was done so well. While I listened to the book, I felt like I was listening in on friends as they chatted and gossipped. It was like, I too, was a member of the quilting group getting to know the women and their stories. I highly recommend this book.
I was surprised to find out when I was half way through that Sarah Grimke was actually an historical figure. That really added to my enjoyment of the book. I didn't find the book particularly deep, but did appreciate the different perspective of slavery in Charleston.
Another fun Harry Dresden book. This one had so much going on that it was hard to follow all the story lines or believe it could all be tidied up by the end, but in tru Butcher fashion, Harry prevails and the only loose ends are those that want to make you read the next book. Michael is back, so is Susan, and the new characters are all welcome additions.
Freeman was an unexpectedly good book, with quality writing and a solid plot. The first years after the Civil War are rarely dealt with in fiction and the braided story of Sam, Tilda, and Prudence did so beautifully. Pitts doesn't turn away from the trials and horrors of the post-Civil War Era, nor does he glorify the North in his treatment of his characters. All are flawed and all are beautiful. In addition, the story was well narrated.
What an incredible book! I've seen the movie and pieces of the movie several times and have always been fascinated by the story, but as usual, the book offers so much more inight. Paul Edgecomb is one of the most complex characters I've read in a long time and living through his journey for a few short months in 1932 is an experience not to be missed. Furthermore, reading the book gave me increased appreciation for the fine job the movie did of capturing the important essence and message of the book.
The narration was perfectly done, with just the right amount of acting and voice-changing to capture characters and feelings without every being annoying. (How sad to read the narrator has since passed away!)
Originally written as a series of stories, the way King weaves the sections together is masterful and actually adds to the wonder rather than being annoyingly repetitious. I've not really been drawn to King in the past, not being a fan of horror, but the fine writing of the Green Mile has me reconsidering that decision.
This is a powerful book, sometimes disturbing, sometimes hopeful. As the two doctors, Sonja and Akhmed, save Havaa, a young girl caught in the horrors of the Chechnyan wars after her father is abducted, we learn to love and hate the characters around her, while also recognizing that they are all caught in their own nightmares. The characters are complex and none of them is always what we expect, thus making the book continually interesting to read, not always to know what comes next (although that's important too) but also to learn what came before.
Marra uses foreshadowing to help reassure us that some characters will actually outlive the horror, thus making the unspeakable realities of the war somewhat easier to read. Nevertheless, the descriptions of what takes place at "the Landfill" are horrific and disturbing. How can people treat each other this way? Can this be real? How do people face such horror and live? What is life?
But live, they do, and interact. They eat and play and make love and survive. They build on their past and build towards a future. In the end, there is triumph and we are reminded that Life--a constellation of vital pheonomena--carries for all of us happiness and sadness, birth and death.
I knew agent to the stars had aliens in it. I knew it had a sci-fi twist. But it turned out to be much more different than I would have expected. Unfortunately, the part of the story I found most interesting was the part that took place solidly on earth without any aliens. I would have enjoyed the book much more without the distraction of Joshua and his space ship. Even so, the book was a fun change of pace and I can't say I'm sorry I took the time to listen. The performance was voice-rich without any truely annoying voices although sometimes I wondered if the reader was trying to channel certain celebrities. Funny.
The Wizard of Oz is just enough the same as the movie to be comfortable and familiar, but it's most interesting to hear the parts that are different...the land of the Winkies, the journey to the Witch's castle, the characters that aren't in the movie. The story is surprisingly violent in places, in a black humor sort of way, so it might not be appropriate for very young children, but it certainly gave us a pleasant car trip with a fair amount of giggling throughout.
I enjoyed this book at least as much, if not more that the previous two. Harry continues to develop as a character, as do those around him. Although there isn't much of Murphy in this book, Susan gets a lot more page time, and the new characters of Michael and Thomas add some interesting elements to the story. Towards the end, I was getting ready for things to wrap up, but I enjoyed the book enough to download the next one!
The whole time I was listening to this book I kept asking myself why I never heard this story before. King Peggy is inspirational both as a book and a person. Peggy Bartels became a Ghanaian King at the death of her beloved uncle and the story of her taking the stool, ruling as king, and burying her uncle in the royal manner is a ride through the unbelievable in contemporary Africa. Peggy's dealings with her elders are hilarious and her insistance that she is a "man" make some of the funniest parts of the book. Her natural ability to lead as she puts her people first is inspiring to leaders who also desire to improve their environment. How anyone could read this book and not be won over by Peggy is beyond me.
The performance is very well done with the perfect mix of changing voices and nice African accents. J. Karen Thomas brought me right into the village and didn't let me out until the story ended with me wanting to listen to more!
The book is really interesting and gave me several things to work on. My life and brain health have already changed due to the adjustments I've made and the new habits I'm working on. The book itself is powerful.
Dr. Amen makes a powerful case with substantial evidence for making changes that range from getting more exercise to taking supplements. Furthermore, he does a wonderful job of describing the role of hormones in brain health, not just in the reproductive cycle. His advice is sensible and attainable.
That said, this is NOT a book for an audio experience. There are too many lists and too much technical information to be able to absorb it auditorally. I wish I had bought the real book so I could use it more as a reference, something that just doesn't work with the audio version. If I had read the book, I think I would have given it a much higher rating. My advice is to buy the real book and leave the audio experience for other books.
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