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Carol

Roosevelt, TX, United States | Member Since 2001

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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9

  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1462)
    Performance
    (1276)
    Story
    (1285)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "The Best Book to Date of this Century or the Last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is so good in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. The reader who is also the author gives a sterling performance.

    The character development (which is so often lacking in so many of today's works) is fantastic. The viewpoint of rural versus urban is also fantastic. I know, I was born rural and moved to the city. The culture shock is quite shocking. Now the reverse is happening, urban or suburban raised going to the country and watching that has been very interesting! Anyways I absolutely love Barbara Kingsolver and read every word she writes. I think she is one of the urban to rural people with the ability to understand and adequately show to all of us the difference in life experiences and knowledge. From this book I get the feeling that she understands the rural poor, especially those who get stuck in 18th century thought and stay there. I meet them weekly in my trips to the local feed store. These denizens hang on to their Fox News with all their might in the hopes that all is well.

    The part which is a phenomenal accomplishment is the part where the author through her main characters explain climate change to others. It is the best rebuttal to all the naysayers I have read and Ms. Kingsolver should be the voice for that type of education in all media and everywhere. She gave many acknowledgements in her book to many different people, including Bill McKibben, but her clear explanation of climate change and its proofs left me awed and I had read Bill McKibben.

    At an emotional level, the death of a species is another horrible theme of the book and maybe even a little hope is there for overnight or at least one or two generation evolution. Lyall Watson has written a book on quick evolution and proved it. There is the same hope here.

    This past year, a single monarch feasted on a sunflower plant in my yard. I live north of the fire ant invasion now in Texas and in a much earlier year I happened outside just as the large monarch butterfly population was heading towards Mexico via the Texas Hill Country 30 miles north of San Antonio and 150 miles south of where I now live seeing the single monarch. That vision near San Antonio of the delicate filtering of millions of these beautiful butterflies I count as one of the premiere memories I have. The other was when about 20 whooping cranes passed overhead on the way to the Texas coast also near San Antonio, Texas.

    I ordered milkweed seeds from the group that advocates planting them via the net and I didn't get them in the ground. I will this year though before I plant anything else come spring. Since non-green government took over the State of Texas, they are spraying herbicides on the freeways and roadsides again, but for a while no spraying was done and no mowing was done where a field of flowers lived. Ignorance and stupidity keeps washing back into politics. We are all monarch butterflies because of it. This summer was mostly over 100 degrees with very little rain. I grow my own, but the only garden plant that survived were the weeds. I have learned to love weed salad!

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • MaddAddam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Bob Walter, Robbie Daymond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (543)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (486)

    Months after the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren have rescued their friend Amanda from the vicious Painballers. They return to the MaddAddamite cob house, newly fortified against man and giant pigoon alike. Accompanying them are the Crakers, the gentle, quasi-human species engineered by the brilliant but deceased Crake. Their reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is recovering from a debilitating fever, so it's left to Toby to preach the Craker theology, with Crake as Creator.

    Tery says: "dystopian heaven"
    "Science Fiction and History Rolled Into One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As usual, the awesome intellect of Margaret Atwood is awesome in the MaddAadam Trilogy. I have listened to all of them and found myself in today's world to start and a hopeful tomorrow world that might come out of the chaos of the earth today. It is the first plus that might come out of genetic engineering in spite of the stupidity that has so far presented itself.

    It is also a true tale for me personally in that I changed from a meat eater with prediabetes, obesity, and osteoarthritis such that I was needing two hips, two knees, and two ankles replaced to a raw fruitarian with the occasional cup of beans and now have normal blood sugars, normal gait with no pain and the absolute disappearance of the supposedly incurable osteoarthritis. From a size 4X at 235 lbs. to my weight now of 121 and size small, I ambulate all day with enduring energy and a normal stride. I am now experimenting with wild raw honey to see if I can regrow the entirely missing cartilage in my joints. So the future "humans" in Atwood's future are all grass eaters with careful bioengineering producing such a need. I would modify the book in only that way--i.e., grass eating requires cleared forests and cleared forests means no elimination of CO2. My future humans would be fruitarians and their sole occupation would be preparing and maintaining orchards. That is what this human does now as well as installing solar panels.

    I will now research something hinted at by Atwood and wonder if there is current science on it, i.e., the curative effects a cats purring.

    It was also a surprise to have pleasant music in an audiobook!

    These 3 books should be required reading in every high school and college literature courses, hopefully in that literature courses are still required.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fallen Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Marie McCarthy
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Lily wants to forget the war. She's determined to enjoy the 1920s, with it's music, laughter, and pleasure. When she meets Captain Stephen Winters, a decorated hero, she's drawn to his wealth and status. He sees in Lily his salvation from the guilt at surviving when so many were lost. But it's a dream that cannot last.

    Paula says: "Enjoyable in a gloomy kind of way."
    "Post WWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My father was a veteran of WWI and he spoke about the war frequently. He spoke about the lighter side of the war like the war against mud in trying to move heavy artillery with the constant rains and horses struggling against the mud. He talked about the constant war against lice and the horrible food, i.e., corned beef, the constant meal.

    But I know the war damaged my father and was part of his constant solace of alcohol and his seeming isolation from all around him for his lifetime.

    This book echoes my father's demons and the narrator is perfect. It is a truthful picture of the damage that war produces in the men who fight them and the ghosts of terror they live with the rest of their lives. I especially liked the connection between all of us being participants in the terror of the war when we are silent about the stupidity of solving problems with killing. Nothing is ever solved, only more killing in the future is guaranteed as historians showed how WWI absolutely required WWII. What war will the war on terror bring us?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lone Star: An Edna Ferber Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Edward Ifkovic
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In 1955, grande dame authoress Edna Ferber is visiting L.A. for the filming of her epic novel, Giant. Edna is looking forward to meeting Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor, and especially the film's gifted young breakout star, James Dean. A charismatic rebel, Dean attracts attention, devotion, and trouble wherever he goes. Now he is being blackmailed by a young extra from the movie who accuses him of getting her pregnant.

    Carol says: "So Fascinating Now I Have to Research It"
    "So Fascinating Now I Have to Research It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am of the generation alive when the movie came out of which this novel is concerning. I knew the author was Edna Ferber but until I listened to some of her audiobooks I had no idea what a truly wonderful writer she is or should we say "was," though once a wonderful writer always a wonderful writer even after dead. Now I am angry at having to read what was alleged to be women's literature in my high school and college classes. Researching now I find so many more worthy women writers in the past than those given out as good, Edna Ferber being the first on the list. Hollywood trivialized her and academia ignored her.

    I have to find out who Edward Ifkovic is and what factual basis there is, if any, in this interesting book. I will start by reading any other reviews here. A great performance and a "feminist" viewpoint that could well be that of Edna Ferber. I recommend more Edna Ferber audiobooks, although so many are now in the public domain. "Gigolo" is free in a Kindle edition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles P. Pierce
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (136)

    The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    Vargas says: "You Get What You Paid For"
    "Politically Confused and Rural Bashing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really a very hard book to follow because the listener never knows when the reader, Mr. Pinchot, is quoting in the text another author and when he is back to reading the author, Mr. Pierce. Other readers pause or use other verbal cues to indicate the end of a quote, but this reader fails us in that respect.

    Additionally being from the rural South I really disliked Mr. Pierce's putdown of rural people and their lack of intelligence in one way or another throughout. Even his political views were confused--sometimes he sounded more like a rabid conservative than a person who might question dominant fairy tales like 911 the result of some men in a plane where overwhelming scientific minds of highly reputable repute have differed. It is almost like he wants us to believe he is an original thinker and not an idiot where most of his views indicate otherwise.

    In his beliefs on Kennedy, he does not state whether the lone nut job is true or not to his mind, but he says if as indicated most Americans believe it is not a lone nut job, then he states, Americans should do something about it! The overwhelming power that government now has over its people and had even in the 1960s and 1970s (the shootings at Kent State being evidence of that) means that Americans can't do anything about anything government does, short of a 100% sitdown strike, which really doesn't happen at any time in history until the masses face starvation or rebellion. Being shot in the head in a strike or dying from starvation, the shot in the head is probably the best way to go. As long as government somehow manages to convince a few of the "stupid" rural people that Pierce runs on about to grow corn or potatoes, there will be enough empty calories of one sort or another to ward off stomach pains and therefore desperation.

    5 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1832)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1047)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Amazon Customer says: "Sci-fi Comdey of Manners"
    "Funny and Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not a great fan of science fiction, but this was fascinating and funny. The narrator was very professional and believable, except perhaps for his cat meow!

    What is wonderful is that felines are once again back in the world at the end! A must-read or listen for all cat lovers! And dog lovers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Novella Carpenter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (153)

    Novella Carpenter loves cities - the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways.

    Sarah says: "Not an instruction book but a fun read"
    "Fantastic book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a listener/reader the same age as the author's parents and part of the mindset to "return to the land," but not successful either as her parents weren't, I could relate to the author's background. However, I would have loved to see my offspring grow up to be her. I loved every minute and every word of this book. I will probably listen to it numerous times. She makes no mention of the impending food crisis in our nation as farmers who try to live by farming all die off with no replacements, except for a few stalwarts like the author of this book. And, with the impending loss of cheap transport fuels, urban farms will be the only option for a viable food production system in the future.

    This book should encourage more and more urban farms, including the raising of a pig. Modern research has shown that humans evolved our big brains from meat protein and cooking.

    And, once you taste, "natural" meats and vegies, you won't go back to the shipped stuff unless you are indeed starving!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea-Bagging of America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Dana Milbank
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank takes a fair and balanced look at the unsettling rise of the silly Fox News host Glenn Beck. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that the tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. In America in 2010, Glenn Beck provides the very refreshment Jefferson had in mind: Whether he's the patriot or the tyrant, he's definitely full of manure.

    Carol says: "Who is more of a clown the author or Beck?"
    "Who is more of a clown the author or Beck?"
    Overall

    This was the most tedious, boring book I have ever listened to. However, it seems the author in her viewpoint is as confused as Beck. Beck sees danger in our future. The author sees none. No mention of the perils of our times by this author. The author seems to think all is well with the things that are. No mention of oil depletion, worldwide climate change, loss of civil rights, the loss of arable land and decreased ground water to feed and alleviate the thirst of increasing numbers of humans, the loss of nutrition from foods grown in depleted soil, or the undue influence of rich, profit-minded corporations in all of our legislative bodies. So who is the clown?

    15 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Richard Wrangham
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (176)

    Ever since Darwin and The Descent of Man, the existence of humans has been attributed to our intelligence and adaptability. But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. In a groundbreaking theory of our origins, Wrangham shows that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution.

    KHarrang says: "Fascinating book about early human development..."
    "the most awesome book I have ever read (heard)"
    Overall

    Being female and observing females of many species, I have found that female equates to interest in food and male equates to interest in something else, need I say? Cooking backburnered as unimportant even to the point of it being required female activity is appraised in a whole new light and well proved up in this awesome book. Hey it is cooking that got us big brains, you know that lowly female activity? It makes me laugh! I think the genius author of this book will probably be excommunicated from the male religion of male supremacy. I also thought his points about why women CHOSE to be mated is also very important as well. Anyone who cannot see the importance and genius of this book and the importance of every thought in it, well, needs more cooked food and non-processed cooked food.

    On a personal note, I tried a raw food diet and gave it up and now I know why and I don't have to feel guilty that I do not serve up my dogs a raw food diet instead of opening a can.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • This Land Is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Barbara Ehrenreich
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Here they are, the 2000s, and Barbara Ehrenreich's antidotes are as sardonic as they are spot-on: pet insurance for your kids; Salvation Army fashions for those who can no longer afford Wal-Mart; and boundless rage against those who have given us a nation scarred by deepening inequality, corroded by distrust, and shamed by its official cruelty.

    Rude says: "Laundry list of sins against the average joe."
    "required reading"
    Overall

    This should be required reading punishable by imprisonment in prison in Guantanamo if not read by all Fox News watchers and Sarah Palin supporters.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful

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