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Patricia

San Diego, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 64 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (162)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Darwin8u says: "A Painful Grace, A Search for the Holy"
    "Classic Flannery O'Conner - a glimpse backwards"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Typical of O'Conner, these short stories are down to earth and not cheerful little things. As a matter of fact most of them are downright downers! But they hold your attention. I kept wanting to "rescue" the characters and fix things for them but O'Conner lets them walk unwaveringly to their dooms. These stories take place in the old south and there is plenty of bigotry and poverty. There are many social stratuses and these characters tend to be toward the bottom of the social ladder but always looking down on those below them and being so grateful they are better. It would be funny except that it is so true to life and so heartbreaking. I grew up in the deep South in the 40s and 50s and know that these characters ring true.

    I liked some of the readers better than others but didn't find any were great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Death in the Family

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By James Agee
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Decades after its original publication, James Agee’s last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man’s death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.

    Patricia says: "A rural family struggles with death"
    "A rural family struggles with death"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written back in the first half of the 20th century, this slow moving but powerful story tells of a rural family facing a death of one of its members. It starts out very slowly but soon it completely hooked me and I found it hard to put down. Not a whole lot happens but it is nevertheless completely absorbing and true to life. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Meth Addiction

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By David Sheff
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (166)

    David Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view, a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.

    Before meth, Sheff's son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs, the attempts at rehabilitation, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for one another, too, lest they become addicted to addiction.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Painful and honest account"
    "A powerful story of meth addiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautiful and engaging book about a family’s tortured history with meth addiction. Actually, it is several books in one: first, the mesmerizing story of their young teenage son’s falling into a life of addiction and the horrible consequences and long struggles for recovery; then the author has done extensive research on addiction and particularly meth addiction and so he gives us a great deal of that; and then just the daily life of his family over the years. For a family struggling with addiction, it will all be very helpful but for the (fortunate) rest of us it could be trimmed down a bit. For example, the very detailed and lengthy descriptions of their daily family life – when we are dying to get back to the addition story. Nevertheless, it is engrossing and well written and well narrated. It certainly expanded my insight into such issues and I truly admire this family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (470)
    Story
    (477)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "A delightful read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful book and just wonderful to listen to. It is the memoir of a midwife in London of the 1950s. It is hard to believe that before the National Health Service came into being in the late 1940s and made free healthcare available to all, maternity care for the poor was practically non-existent in Britain. But by the mid 1950s nurse midwives were bicycling around the projects of London giving prenatal (the Brits call it antenatal) care and handling home deliveries, or even hospital deliveries for complications. Each story is more delightful or amazing than the others. My only complaint is that I never wanted it to end. The author, an experienced nurse, signs up for midwife training and thinks she is being sent to a hospital but instead it is a community of nuns who lovingly care for their patients and train other nurses to become experienced midwives. Britain was still recovering from the privations of WWII and there was an immense shortage of housing. Poor families lived in incredibly crowded and primitive conditions. Many of the old condemned buildings did not have running water for each flat but were still full of families because there was nowhere to move them. Into this comes all the drama of birth and death and family and money issues and even racial issues (Britian was just beginning to get immigrants of different racial backgrounds). It is just beautifully written, beautifully narrated (the Cockney voices will haunt me) and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Milan Kundera, Michael Henry Heim (translator)
    • Narrated By Richmond Hoxie
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (108)

    A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon, a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals—while her other lover, earnest, faithful, and good, stands to lose everything because of his noble qualities. In a world where lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and fortuitous events, and everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel “the unbearable lightness of being."

    Betty says: "A THOUGHTFUL JOURNEY"
    "Heavy Reading but worth it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always wanted to read this book but put it off over the years. I knew it would not be light reading and since I am definitely a speed reader, I knew I would be tempted to skip some of the philosophical stuff and concentrate on the plot. So having it read to me was ideal – no speed reading (oh, except that on my iPod I could speed it up, but I never did!). This is a well-known and highly reviewed book by the Czech writer Milan Kundera. He uses the stories of two couples to inject his philosophical musings about Prague in the 1960s and 1970s particularly during the period of the 1968 Russian invasion and the damping effect it has on Czech society and on our couples in particular. The main character, Tomas, is a womanizing surgeon who goes from one lover to the other until he stumbles on Tereza who totally confuses him. He doesn’t give up his other affairs but she has a definite hold on him. The author compares the ideas of “lightness” – we have one life to life and this is it – to “heaviness” – life is an unending cycle of repeats. It is much more complicated than that, of course. Despite the “coolness” of the narrative, you get attached to the characters as you follow them from youth to aging and see the deadening effect of totalitarianism on individuals and effects their choices have. It is very definitely worth reading and because it is not light reading, it is an excellent book to have read to you. I am very glad I finally know what it is all about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (408)

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Jamie says: "Greatly entertaining, not for all audiences."
    "Delightful - funny and touching"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful book and it is read just beautifully. The plot focuses on the recent death of the patriarch of a Jewish family and how all his grown children come home with their families to sit Shiva for 7 days. There are all sorts of dynamics among them – adultery, anger, whatever – and it all gradually comes to the surface. The book is hilarious (would make a great movie) and the one liners are priceless and yet there is depth (not too much but enough to be touching). Once I really got into it I couldn't put it down and seem to walk around all day with my iPod trying to see what happens. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (782)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (566)

    After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.

    P. Wade Thompson says: "A Great Listen"
    "You won't be able to put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somehow I had never read this classic so it was refreshing to have it read to me. It is beautifully, beautifully read – almost perfection. And the story builds in suspense to a point where it is hard to stop listening. It is a first person narrative – an impoverished, naïve, timid young woman who marries the widowed owner of a magnificent estate and then tries to fill the shoes of his beautiful deceased wife. The narrator – whose name we never get except when referred to as Mrs. de Winter – always talks of how she feels and sees in a situation. There is great detail about her surroundings, from the gorgeous flowers, the weather, the other people, and how they all affect her. I am a speed reader and am tempted to gloss over such details when they slow down the plot but having it read to me forced me to take them one at a time and they deliciously added to the building tension. It was hard to put down my iPod when my walks were over and encouraged me to not skip a day of walking! I highly recommend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Moll Flanders

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Daniel Defoe
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (178)

    One of the most determined, energetic, and lusty heroines in all of English literature, Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders will do anything to avoid poverty. Born in Newgate Prison, she was for 12 years a whore, five times a wife (once to her own brother), 12 years a thief, and eight years a transported felon in Virginia before finally escaping from the life of immorality and wickedness imposed on her by society. She is as much a survivor and just as resourceful as Defoe's other great literary creation, Robinson Crusoe.

    Pierre Gauthier says: "Fascinating!"
    "Marvelous story and beautifully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful book! Written in the first person it chronicles the life of one Moll Flanders – not her real name but useful to sum up her life. She was born in London’s infamous Newgate prison where her mother was under a sentence of death for theft. Our heroine struggled on her own to form a life for herself and goes from one adventure to another. She tells us she was married 5 times and was a whore many years (by that she means what we would call a mistress, not a prostitute). Her “voice” in the book itself is enchanting and the reader does a beautiful job of portraying her and all the other characters. I will not give away much of the plot but reading it will give you great insight into the struggles women faced over the past 200 years. I found the part when she herself was in Newgate prison for theft very touching. How easily they executed people for petty crimes – awful to think of. Anyway, the book is wonderful and I highly recommend it. Don't miss it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Albert Camus
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (719)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (324)

    Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

    S. Allen says: "Classic book, excellent audiobook"
    "A classic that is just a good now as in the 1940s"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It seems a lifetime ago that I first encountered Camus in philosophy classes. I was haunted by him then and the effects have remained with me all these years so I was delighted to have an opportunity to go back to "The Stranger" and read/hear it again. It is fiction but as Camus said (loosely), the novel is just philosophy expressed graphically. It was written in the 1940s when the European world was embroiled in terrible conflicts that called into question all previous beliefs. The Existentialists like Sartre and Camus asked tough questions and this novel expresses those questions in the life of one ordinary man whose life has lost meaning. It is beautifully read and will haunt you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Letters to a Young Contrarian

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (231)

    In the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young (wo)men, and dissidents. Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.

    Mark says: "Something I'll listen to again"
    "Delightul Insights from one of our Great Minds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is delightful listening, and even if you are not familar with Hitchens, this is a great introduction to his thought. I think I took him for granted while he lived and now that he is gone, I was grateful to get these insights into his thoughts. He makes you think. He doesn't ask you to agree with him but you had better be quite logical in defending your ideas. And, he can be so funny. We are poorer without him but at least we have his writings. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Brief History of the Greek Myths: Brief Histories

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Stephen P. Kershaw
    • Narrated By Cameron Stewart
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths leads the listener through the vibrant stories of ancient Greece, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the audiobook explains key issues arising from the narratives and discusses the myths and their wider relevance.

    Patricia says: "A summary and insight into Greek Mythology"
    "A summary and insight into Greek Mythology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really very well done, beautifully read and yet it can be tedious at points because it covers so much. It is more a lesson or a lecture than entertainement but quite worthwhile if you want to refresh your knowledge of Greek Mythology. It is very detailed (more than I wanted) but very well done.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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