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Amazon Customer

PARIS, TX, United States | Member Since 2008

67
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 99 reviews
  • 417 ratings
  • 770 titles in library
  • 98 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • Above the East China Sea: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Sarah Bird
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda, Ali Ahn, Tandy Cronyn, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Set on the island of Okinawa today and during World War II, this deeply moving and evocative novel tells the entwined stories of two teenage girls - an American and an Okinawan - whose lives are connected across 70 years by the shared experience of both profound loss and renewal. And as these two stories unfold and intertwine, we see how war and American occupation have shaped and reshaped the lives of Okinawans.

    Kathi says: "Poignant story of suffering and transformation"
    "Perfect Blend of Past and Present, Them vs. Us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a departure for Sara that might put her in the literary hall of fame -- Sara is a writer for Texas Monthly and lives in Austin, ( I think?). Thank you Book People in Austin for putting this one on my horizon.

    This book about Okinawa then and now is beautiful and haunting and wonderful, and I'd like to go hear Sara discuss how she wrote it. It somewhat reminds me of The Good Earth meets Memoirs of a Geisha meets Eleanor and Park. Fictional story that promotes the idea of Americans getting in touch with their history and beautifully shows the history of Okinawa even prior to its occupation by Japan and then America. What is family? What is love? How does a young girl know the path to take? How do we deal with loss? What place in our lives do our ancestors have? How does our country matter in our lives? These questions are all raised, as each character encounters life, family, love and country on a grand scale.

    Note: it does start slowly with a dual time line of teen angst that is almost wearying. But then bam, it takes off so don't quit it. This is not just another YA pining offering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fitness Confidential

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Vinnie Tortorich
    • Narrated By Vinnie Tortorich
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (376)

    America's Angriest Trainer, Vinnie Tortorich, exposes the nasty underbelly of the fitness industry while getting you into the best shape of your life. For over 20 years, Vinnie has been Hollywood's go-to guy for celebrities and athletes looking to get fit fast. Now, in this hilarious and often R-rated memoir, he holds nothing back. What's the best piece of fitness equipment money can buy? What's the fastest way to lose weight: diet or exercise? Why are health clubs worse than used car lots? In Fitness Confidential, Vinnie tells all.

    Chris says: "The best voice in audible with the lungs to match"
    "BEST. FITNESS. BOOK. EVER."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Best fitness book ever - and the audio gives extras. This is the beauty of self-publishing. Also, I like the fact that the "ghost" writer gets credit up front and center. That is as it should be. (The publishers wanted cuts or changes. True to self, Vin said "No thanks, I'll do it my way" - well he actually probably through a cuss word or two in there, but you get the ist.)

    No holding back honesty. I needed this kick in the but and hope I remember to plug in to the podcast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eleanor & Park

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (945)
    Performance
    (880)
    Story
    (887)

    Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

    FanB14 says: "E + P 4-ever!"
    "Best Such Book Since Fault in Our Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warning: you are going to want to read this from cover to cover. What a profound young love story, which raises so many great questions. Why do we read Romeo and Juliet? Is young love, against all the odds, always doomed? Who / what are the Montagues and Capalets of today (or even if the 80s in this book)? Why do opposites attract? Do you have to conform to society's rules? What would you do for love? What would you do for survival?

    Eleanor is chubby and has red hair. Lots of red hair. Enough so that she is quickly dubbed Big Red at her new highschool. Eleanor's dad is selfish and absentee. Her mom's husband is scary and abusive, and so mom can't / doesn't help Eleanor, even with such simple needs as clothing or toothbrushes. Eleanor isn't "nice" -life hasn't given her that chance- but there is something about her - like the way she was able to read that poem in English her first day. She is smart and unique, and beautiful just as she is.

    Park couldn't be more opposite. His parents are actually still in love, and though they have their moments, they love him and are supportive and somehow pretty wise. Park is cool and even exotic looking, taking after his Korean mother. Park is into music and constantly makes tapes of his favorite songs to listen to, while reading his comic magazines.

    Park has a whole seat on the bus and, not without regret, is the only one who allows Eleanor to sit. Soon he realizes that she is reading his comics with him.

    Now, see, you do want to know what happens next.

    0 of 0 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
    Overall
    (485)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (415)

    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.

    Lynn says: "Insightful and touching"
    "Go for Mom and Me and Mom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok, I know, this is the pivotal Maya Angelou, but I honestly love Mom and Me and Mom so much more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lucky Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Amy Bloom
    • Narrated By Alicyn Packard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Somewhat like being in the Oz Poppy Field"
    "Somewhat like being in the Oz Poppy Field"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I'll stick with my first assessment: Fascinatingly Weird. Or the Strange Plot Twist Road to the Rainbow at the End of the Road to Perdition.

    Every time you think you have the story figured out, you get slammed with a Plot Twist from out of nowhere. Any less of a writer couldn't have dished it up and served it so well. Who won't like it? Practical readers without fortitude or patience, or maybe just with much bettet sense than me, or maybe with less of a sense of humor. I'm not even really sure why I liked it, other than that I love the ability to look (through great writing) at a wide variant of American life in the forties. I love how the tone is so light and matter of fact despite all the heavy subjects. And I truly deeply wanted things to work out for little Evie in the end. She is special and steadfast in her own way, so the only comparison I have is that she gives us a look at life and love and death in the 40s via a sort of Forrestina Gump voice who does Strange Childhood, Peas and Carrots Half Sister, Hollywood, and Jersey, with Jazz, Jewish, and Germanic undertones.

    Warning: Probably not for the Super Southern Conservative? But hey, if you read Fifty Shades- and based on sales numbers I think everyone in the world did- then I don't really see the difference. Just take it with a grain of salt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Life and Works of Beethoven

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jeremy Siepmann
    • Narrated By Jeremy Siepmann, Bob Peck, Neville Jason, and others
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    For many people, Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived. In this portrait-in-sound, actors’ readings combine with his music to reveal a titanic personality, both vulnerable and belligerent, comic and tragic, and above all heroic, as he comes to grips with perhaps the greatest disability a musician can suffer. No man’s music is more universal; few men’s lives are more inspiring. In every sense but one - his modest height - he was a giant. The great bonus of this audio-biography is that the development of Beethoven’s music can be heard in the context of his life.

    Amazon Customer says: "I'm a Believer"
    "I'm a Believer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Makes a great case for Beethoven. I didn't realize there were so many of his works I don't know in addition to the ones I do. Chopin is still my favorite, but I have new music to explore now and I do recognize the genius.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Longbourn

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jo Baker
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (399)

    In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

    Kim says: "Great Book, Great Narrator!"
    "A Quiet Treat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not earth shattering but enjoyable and well done. If you like P&P and if you like Downton Abby, you'll probably like this. It is like the servants are doing their own dance, which causes them to occasionally run into the P&P story on the dance floor, but otherwise they have their own steps, their own cares and concerns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • White Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1216)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1057)

    They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.

    FanB14 says: "Prep for Starz Drama"
    "Will Suck You In - -Political Fiction with a Twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyable political historical fiction filled with intrigue from Elizabeth's point of view. I understand the author's reasoning on the twist at the end but have a hard time buying it, so that jolted me or if the world. Still, it is a great Escape and good book. This woman sacrificed almost everything! I'll be reading the other books on the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Miniaturist

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jessie Burton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    On a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office - leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

    D. Hile says: "Intriguing and a bit disturbing"
    "The More Things Change . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *Spoiler Alert*

    Interesting book, especially for the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Who is the Miniaturist? Why did Petronella stay and help this family? How do we ever learn compassion as a human race? Have we really gotten anywhere? [Based on the bullying that I've personally encountered this week along the same lines as one of the conflicts in this book, it sure doesn't seem like it.] Why was this book written? Why did I read it at this particular moment? Can I make any sense of it? What is this book telling me?

    In order to tell you about the book, I guess I have to give a spoiler, though I'm not sure why this was hidden as it wasn't a surprise once the book got going.

    Set in Amsterdam in 1686, this historical fiction novel, according to the author: "focuses on two women’s very different journeys to find a slice of freedom in a repressive, judgmental society. There’s a trial, a hidden love, a miniaturist who predicts the fate of her customers, a parakeet called Peebo and a plan to escape to the sea."

    *Spolier Alert*

    The kicker is that young Nella's husband is homosexual, which at that time and place was a crime worthy of the death penalty. Nella's home and country are full of contradictions. I think that is quite true of life. What I'm not sure of is how Nella was so worthy to navigate them with such grace, when everyone else around her was much more naturally humanly flawed. Also, unanswered is really who or how is the Miniaturist? Why name the book after her?

    I just happen to like books that don't answer the questions for me. I also love the chase of the human contradiction. So even though for the life of me I can't figure this book out, I'm glad I read it, at this particular time. I'm glad the book showed me that, yes, we have made some progress

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Jane Carr
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    From the two-time Man Booker award-winning author, comes a collection of short stories. Ranging from a ghost story to a vampire story to a near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture. Each story brilliantly unsettles the listener with Mantel’s classic wicked humor and unsparing eye, in an unmistakably Mantel way.

    Amazon Customer says: "How do I love thee, Hilary-Let me County the Ways!"
    "How do I love thee, Hilary-Let me County the Ways!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hate short stories. I'm just a long story person. I want to be given a chance to care about every aspect of the story. I want something to think about. I want a chance to laugh, cry, be curious, be surprised, and be swept away. I want something profound.

    How does she do it? I was completely swept up in these stories in all of the above ways. I want to study them and figured out their myriad meanings. I want to study Mantel's writing techniques. I want a bit of her brilliant zanyness. I'm a true fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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