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Mary Ann Mortensen

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  • In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By George K. Simon
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dr. George K. Simon knows how people push your buttons: your children---especially teens---are experts at it, as is your mate. A coworker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses. Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Must Read Primer on Manipulation"
    "Handbook to understanding destructive people."
    What did you love best about In Sheep's Clothing?

    This book was able to break down some very complex and difficult ideas for a lay person to understand about the different degrees of a sociopathic personality and that they are all over our lives and society not just in prisons. There are many degrees of this personality. Describing these types of people and understanding that we know MANY of them. Our culture is creating people who think they can get away with anything they want and never have to subject themselves to consequences. They do this in both a public setting and in their private lives. If you happen to be in a significant relationship, you soon find out that if you ever dare confront them with their inappropriate behavior, you will soon reap the piles of excuses, the evasive maneuvers they use to turn it around and blame you, or worse, their wrath for daring to even think or insinuate they did anything wrong. Simon's ideas, if considered in our modern mental health culture, will revolutionize it. It's no longer about fear-based paradigms as Freud and other fathers of our mental health culture has assumed, but rather, many modern individuals don't have enough fear. They don't fear laws or consequences or the fallout their behavior inflicts on the people around them. Sociopaths (people without a moral compass or empathy) come in all shapes and forms and degrees... they are not just people in prisons. Our culture even rewards this type of personality in the tops of our societal food chains. They are our brothers, sisters, fathers, bosses, leaders, icons, etc. They can even be our kids who we raised to have so much self-esteem they no longer respect adults and authority or rules and laws. Simon even lays out an explanation of the ADD/ADHD epidemic. This problem is society's consequence for no longer holding up values and morals as the ideal. The contents of this book needs to be in our society's everyday language and especially in our modern mental health culture.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Copper River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Part Irish, part Native-American, Sheriff Cork O'Connor serves the remote territory of Tamarack County, Minnesota. But big trouble is brewing: a powerful man believes O'Connor killed his son. Now there's a price on the sheriff's head and a bullet in his leg. He finds refuge with his cousin, Jewell, and her teenage son, Ren, in their tiny Michigan town. But when Ren and his friends are threatened, O'Connor must risk his cover to find out why.

    Roger says: "Great Book"
    "OUTSTANDING! All Around!"

    This wonderfully suspenseful, flirty, teasing story between Cork and his delightful assistant was refreshing. Cork remains a faithful family man while away from his wife and children without losing the ability to accept and respect a lovely "Jason Bourne"-type-abilities partner. This story was different. The loving and altruistic focus on a much neglected segment of our society was delightful. WKK portrayed youth truthfully while emphasizing their intelligence, resourcefulness and loyalty with great respect. I love all the mysteries so far, but I'd have to say this is one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back of Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By C. J. Box
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who’s fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that....

    Terry says: "Cody Hoyt is GREAT!"
    "Tolerable... Did CJ Box really write this?"

    I've listened to every Joe Pickett novel... Some of the best books of the modern Wild West (I'm also a devoted Longmire fan) I was thrilled to find another series that brought to life the people and wildlife that I've visited on several Green River Lakes vacations and Yellowstone... But this was a detour.

    There was a unpracticed, amateurish tone to this novel by both the author AND the narrator, that I'm kinda amazed it made it through the editing process and was published.

    The Story:
    This book (series) tried WAY too hard. Character defects have more power with more subtlety and nuance... When a character sounds "canned" or "stereotyped" they sound too "contrived" and "forced." This goes for the main character, the older girl and others.

    CJ Box seemed awkward and a bit lost creating these darker protagonists...pushing logic and credence beyond their breaking point. Most of these characters lacked the kind of development that would have helped them be believable. The motives of the ending antagonist was meant to be a fun plot twist... But there were never any hints that all was not what it seemed to give us the ride of suspicion. It ended up being too far fetched.

    The Narrator:
    Ditto from above. This almost seemed like his first book. The first half of the book he, again, WAY overplayed the dialogue like in high school drama class. He used a halting staccato WAY too much that became annoying. Emotions were too intense and lacked subtlety and nuance. He seemed to get better over time... Slightly.

    If you're eager to find out what else can CJ Box do and what his brilliant mind can produce... You will. I'm not sure trying to create the utter and complete opposite of Joe Pickett worked here...deep characters and people have lots and lots of gray.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Unflinching Story Of Flinch-worthy Courage"

    Who would dare take an oversized, overpacked, over-weighted backpack alone up and down great elevations and along an isolated but exceptionally beautiful trail along the Sierra Nevadas and Cascade mountain ranges during a time when "we all knew better?" This was the 90's, when the news was filled with the movements of OJ Simpson. Most women had begun looking over their shoulders in elevators, let alone jog alone on a park trail. But Cheryl Strayed pushed against this caution and refused to let it imprison her. (As it certainly did me!) A little voice in her, nurtured by her pioneering upbringing, gave her the gumption, permission and stouthearted ease to do the unthinkable. (If only that voice had visited me at that time!) She overcame her fears of being overtaken by both beast (bears and mountain lions) and the worst of humanity. Clearly she was protected. It was plain her mother played an integral part in guiding her to this journey and through this journey.

    Cheryl ejected herself from a life and marriage of great promise triggered by the grief over the loss of her own exceptional mother. I shuddered at this premise because of the disappointment I had with another recent story, turned much hyped movie, Eat, Pray, Love, that followed this path. However, I hung in there with this one. Cheryl's biography was much grittier and her own choices "showed not told" of real life self-destructive choices that seemed less "canned" that I could sink my teeth into. Not that everyone needs to follow a path of self-destruction with loss... but let's face it, we can do some pretty stupid things. What redeemed this story for me were the moments of honestly illustrating both the physical and emotional pain she endured while undergoing her metamorphosis. A great example of this were the many times her expenses left her with only pennies in her pocket. But having grown up on a wilderness property without running water and a mother who taught her to value life and nature and not money or possessions, she realized she eventually received exactly what she needed. Lessons of appreciation accompanied her when she had to go without. Her triumph was impressive.

    This story inspires me now to think, "If she could do it, couldn't I?", which considering I'm only 2 years younger is delightful. Yes, I've even found myself searching different backpacking supplies! But with a back fused 4 levels, if I am unable, I am very grateful to Cheryl for allowing me to be packed in her own backpack during her trip.

    I would have given the story one more star but I didn't because there were times I felt different scenes or people could have been fleshed out even more. It seems that many more modern writers are not pushing themselves harder into the "show, don't tell" realm. I understand that many characters and places were fleeting in this journey and I understand that. But days that Cheryl spent with these other characters could have been shared a little more intimately with dialogue. The trail and it's vista's anatomy and history could have been enlightening filler for several passages. Ie: What were some interesting PCT Guide facts that Cheryl learned but didn't share with us? What were the more efficient techniques of packing would she do next time?

    The narrator, Bernadette Dunne, did a professional job reading this biography. While she has an "older" voice, she read with authority as someone else said, like she was the older Cheryl reflecting back on her life. Bernadette was able to use different cadence and tone for different characters which, for me, makes listening to a book so enjoyable.

    With a good Audible book, I can't wait to prepare meals, do laundry and weed the garden so that I can be transported to exceptional places and inner landscapes by courageous stories and their storytellers. Wild definitely accomplished that for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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