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Keller, TX, United States | Member Since 2014

  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "Timely and Great Content"
    Where does It's Even Worse Than It Looks rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was very good to hear a book written by a bipartisan pair. It kept my attention and I wanted to continue listening until each chapter was complete.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that is was timely - I had seen the authors on a talk show and saw the topic as one that was current. It scared me to think that it was worse that it looked. They seemed to be people who, at one time, were from either side of the aisle and now were on the same side of the issue. That is truly what drew me to the book. How did we get here? How can we see our way out of the mess? Or really - CAN we see our way out.

    Which character – as performed by William Hughes – was your favorite?


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That the GOP has fractured and is having a hard time recognizing their own party at times. It is interesting that the Speaker has been unable to get things done because the "Young Guns" have tied his hands; so many things being done contrarily are done for the sole purpose of keeping President Obama a one term President not for the good of a country.

    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent book.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Even This I Get to Experience

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs)
    • By Norman Lear
    • Narrated By Norman Lear

    The legendary creator of iconic television programs All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Norman Lear remade our television culture - while leading a life of unparalleled political, civic, and social involvement. Sharing the wealth of Lear's 90 years, Even This I Get to Experience is a memoir as touching and remarkable as the life he has led.

    Mo says: "Norman Lear-a timeless soul"
    "I got to Experience Mr. Lear's book!"
    Where does Even This I Get to Experience rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was truly one of the best books I have ever listened to. I could not wait to get back to the earphones or car to pick up the story. He lived so many different lives getting to where he is.

    What other book might you compare Even This I Get to Experience to and why?

    I don't listen/read too many autobiographies, and never of people who are alive! So I have no books to compare this one to.

    What about Norman Lear’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoy when the author reads the book. It gives the story depth and meaning.

    I believed Mr. Lear when he told the stories. I didn't like him when he told some of his family/personal stories. I am not a fan of men who cheat on their wives. I am not sure he would call his years-long affair with his third wife "cheating" but it just sat all wrong with me, personally. This had nothing to do with his performance, but it made him more real.

    One thing that was a little distracting was his voice. It was cracking and somewhat hard to listen to, I think because of his age. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to read the book but it did take a while for me to settle into his voice.

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

    I didn't cry. He had a tough life early but he told it well and lived it well.

    I got angry at his character, like I said, about his cheating. I don't care how magnanimous he felt he was "staying with his second wife", cheating is cheating.

    But I did laugh. Some of the stories he told were quite funny.

    And I found myself caring deeply about the people who played some of my favorite funny people on TV in the 70s, 80s. Like Jimmie JJ Walker and his relationship with TV mom and dad -- Esther Rolle and John Amos. That was a sad story. And how Rob Reiner has been a part of Mr. Lear's life for ~ 50 years.

    Sometimes he would mention something and I would say, "He had his hands in THAT?" Like Princess Bride? Really?

    So interesting!

    And his undying involvement in liberal causes - no matter the costs.

    His love of his country! Wow!

    There was just so much.

    The title of this book is perfect!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Phil Zuckerman
    • Narrated By Andy Paris

    A guidebook for living a life without religion, combining sociological insight and personal inspiration. Over the last 25 years, "no religion" has become the fastest growing religion in the United States. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a secular - or nonreligious - life, generating societies vastly less religious than at any other time in human history.

    Irene says: "You are not alone....."
    "You are not alone....."
    Where does Living the Secular Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranking a non-fiction book like Living the Secular Life among all books I have read is difficult - I went to this book specifically for its content. Considering it for its content, it is excellent. Those of us who are purely secular have a difficult time living in a world where people can treat you less patriotic, less loving as parents, less moral as members of a community. Some of the information in this book helps to make it clear that this does not have to be true. The issue of ranking a book, though, can be that we all are drawn to media (books, newsprint, magazines, online information) that solidifies our positions. I'm no different and after selecting books like this, unless they go way off course [squirrel :-)] I often come out of reading them, enjoying the information gained because of that.

    What other book might you compare Living the Secular Life to and why?

    Although I don't have books I want to compare to it, I have read several Chris Hitchens' books and am interested in readings by people who have had religious convictions then lost them. Books I have read (from Audible) and liked include: What do you do with a Chocolate Jesus, Hope After Faith and The Selfish Gene.

    What about Andy Paris’s performance did you like?

    It was easy to listen to the book with out distraction. I appreciate a voice that is not associated with a specific part of the country (or a different country.) This is, of course my bias. I want to hear the content not the reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Maya Angelou
    • Narrated By Maya Angelou
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age - and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. But years later, she learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors.

    Chelsea says: "Really good book!"
    "Lovely Maya"
    What did you love best about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

    The voice of Ms. Angelou.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

    Of course, the most memorable moment has to be her being molested. It is the moment that the book builds up to and that everything falls down from.

    Which character – as performed by Maya Angelou – was your favorite?

    Ritee had such a wonderful relationship with her brother. He was her only real "connective tissue," so to speak. He was the one thing that was always there, whether she was going to live with her grandmother with a note attached to her as a very small girl or being sent back and forth between her parents and grandmother as a growing child, he was the one thing she could always count on. I think he was my favorite because he was a constant.

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

    I re-read this book, this time right after Ms. Angelou died. I think my reaction this time was much less extreme as it was when I read it when I was much younger. I was remembering the times - her childhood and how she was such a strong person, living through so much, and how she got to be that way. This time reading the book, didn't make me laugh as much as smile when she did the things she did. Her determination, for instance, at becoming a money taker on the trolley cars.

    Any additional comments?

    I will miss Maya Angelou's voice so much. She had such a great talent and this book was one I turned to when she died to say goodbye.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, Gorillas on Drugs, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Laurel Braitman
    • Narrated By Madeleine Maby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As Laurel spent three years traveling the world in search of emotionally disturbed animals and the people who care for them, she discovered numerous stories of recovery: parrots that learn how to stop plucking their feathers, dogs that cease licking their tails raw, polar bears that stop swimming in compulsive circles, and great apes that benefit from the help of human psychiatrists. How do these animals recover?

    Kathi says: "Fascinating book!"
    "If you love animals.... you will love this book"
    If you could sum up Animal Madness in three words, what would they be?

    We're not alone.

    What other book might you compare Animal Madness to and why?

    I am not sure there is a book that compares the kind of writing this book has. It moves from animal treatment - pet, zoo and wild - to the pharma industry pretty seamlessly.

    What about Madeleine Maby’s performance did you like?

    She read the book like it was her own. In fact, I thought she WAS Ms. Braitman.
    However, one thing that bothered me was she mispronounced the word "supposedly" several times. Suppos-ob-ly. Yikes. When you listen to books, word pronunciation is so important. I have not liked a couple of books solely based on the readers, and that is unfortunate.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Come into the world of synapses, mania, depression, prozac, fido and zoos.

    Any additional comments?

    I did not want this book to end! It was so full of great stories and information. I picked it up because of a pet who has had some "issues." I found out that we are not alone. Then I found out that there is a world out there that is so much bigger when it comes to these kinds of things. It made me think about brains, mental illness and all animals in an entirely different way. I have never been a fan of caged animals but this gives a whole new meaning to the word.

    Really - cannot say enough good about this topic, writing and book.

    I would have liked end notes, footnotes, etc. I contacted both Audible and the author. When there are so many things referenced in a non-fiction book, a file of some sort should be included. A paper book is easily flipped through but not so with audibles.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell

    In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

    Cynthia says: "The Art of (Unconventional) War"
    "Another Gladwell Hit"
    If you could sum up David and Goliath in three words, what would they be?

    Don't expect a deep long examination into how the underdogs win. Expect what Mr. Gladwell has been giving us with his books - fun, short interesting stories tied together that make you say you hmmm. The things he relates are always different ways to see things, thought provoking ways, ways I certainly hadn't thought of.

    I always enjoy his books and run to get the latest one. This one did not disappoint.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of David and Goliath?

    I suppose it would be the title story - David fighting Goliath differently than Goliath would have expected - from afar. That could be why the tale is that he won by a slingshot swing. Goliath couldn't swing fists that far.

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

    Yes. The content and stories were captivating in this way.

    It's makeup, though, is one that allows you to break when you need to. I read audiobooks while walking my dog so it makes it easy to break when my walks are over. Since I have three books going at any one time - an audio, a paper, and an electronic, I need to be able to break my audiobook quickly, at the end of my walks.

    So, although I could listen all at one time, I didn't.

    Any additional comments?

    I always enjoy a Gladwell book. It is one that, for me borders on my category of "fluff." That is said in the kindest possible way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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