Massachusetts | Member Since 2008
The things we didn't know about Chanel... her dark side. Well told and well read.
If you found JAWS scary, don't listen to this book. The shark attacks along the eastern seaboard in the summer of 1916 were terrifying and the author does an excellent job of making you feel as if you were in the water with the fish moving swiftly toward you. Sharks are actually wonderful creatures and I'm only sad that this will scare more people than it needs to.
The author spent two years in China during the early 1990s while serving in the Peace Corps. He lived in the remote town of Fuling, in the middle of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley. When Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, it was the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but he learned as much as he taught, simply by connecting with the residents in the town and with his students. Hessler doesn't hesitate to turn the magnifying glass on himself and the funny situations he stumbles into as he tries to understand a completely different culture and how he can fit into it.
This is a funny, and touching book that makes China come alive for the reader in a new way.
This story of the crew team who won the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany is moving and engaging. The author brings together the individual stories of the team members while at the same time giving us a clear picture of Berlin in the months leading up to the Olympics. Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl on one side and the heroic dour Dane rowing coach, Al Ulbrickson, and George Pocock, the perfectionist builder of the red cedar boats, on the other. You root for the good guys who learned that depending on each other was the surest way to win. Excellent narration by Edward Herrmann.
I would read anything Egan writes. His research is meticulous, the story well told and the subjects always of interest. He does not disappoint in this tale of the man who immortalized with photography the ancient ways of the Native Americans. A true hero although he rose from poverty to die in obscurity. Without Curtis, so many of the traditions and portraits of the native people the European settlers trampled, killed and scattered would be lost to history. The reading is clear and modulated.
Simon Callow does a wonderful job of bringing this mad, impulsive, energetic and thoroughly eccentric writer to life. Both a writer and the reader, he adds great depth to the story since, as he points out in the Prologue, he has played so many Dickensian characters during his acting life.
I like the way Jon Meacham approaches such a towering figure, warts and all. Jefferson was a more politically wily character than I knew. It's also oddly comforting that in 1800, the Congress was just as dysfunctional as it is today and yet, somehow, our fledgling democracy survived. Ed Herrmann does an excellent job narrating as always.
TR was a brave man and this story of his trip down the River of Doubt removes all doubt about that. Fascinating aspect of a president about whom so much has been written.
George Orwell is worth listening to on any subject. I recommend this and DOWN AND OUT IN LONDON AND PARIS. History as it happens.
I listened to this book and wonder whether I would have finished it if I'd been reading it on the page. Lisbon was the Casablanca of the famous movie, the place where spies and diplomats and bankers all met to do their wartime business in a neutral capital. This is first and foremost the story of Salazar, the dictator who ruled Portugal for 36 years. His greatest achievement was to keep Portugal neutral through the war which meant he traded with both the British and the Germans.
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