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Amazon Customer

KathrynVB

Chicago, IL USA | Member Since 2007

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 187 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Warden: Timothy West Version

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    The first of Trollope's Barsetshire novels, The Warden concerns the moral dilemma of the Reverend Septimus Harding, who finds himself at the centre of a bitter conflict between defenders of Church privilege and the reformers of the mid-Victorian period.

    Joseph R says: "The Old Man & His Terrific and Single Daughter"
    "Read All Barchester Chronicles, Beginning Here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished a five-month long romp through the entire set of Anthony Trollope's Barchester Chronicles. Each one builds on the last, with earlier characters forming the background for the protagonists of the day. The final book (The Last Chronicle of Barset) is perhaps the best, as he has rounded out his style and he does not give everyone a happy ending. The Warden contains a good bit of social commentary about the power of the press, and in particular the power of a celebrity op-ed columnist. As with all of the books in this set, the characters are vivid and their conversations wonderful.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12985)
    Performance
    (8854)
    Story
    (8903)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Annie M. says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Fabulous story but I miss photos in the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is as fine a story as you will ever find. I stopped reading when he was packed off to the POW camp because I didn't want to listen to the brutality. I went back several months later and I'm glad I did. This is an absolutely wonderful tale.

    Edward Herrmann is not my favorite reader but he does a fine job overall. What I missed were the photos that are sprinkled throughout the printed book. Also, Hillenbrand has a wonderful Acknowledgment section in the print book that is worth finding a copy to read. Luckily, we had a book on the shelf and I was able to enjoy both.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Can You Forgive Her?

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (142)

    Trollope inextricably binds together the issues of parliamentary election and marriage, of politics and privacy. The values and aspirations of the governing stratum of Victorian society are ruthlessly examined and none remains unscathed. But it is above all on the predicament of women that Trollope focuses. ‘What should a woman do with her life?’ asks Alice Vavasor of herself, and this theme is echoed by every other woman in the novel.

    David says: "Superb performance and sound"
    "Oh my! Can We Forgive Her?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely story about love in the days when love's expression was circumscribed by the traditions and social customs of England's country villages in the mid-1800s. As usual, Trollope's characters are superbly described and each has a role to play in this tale of provincial life. Lovely story, well told. I think you can assume that you will forgive his heroine her desire for emotional fulfillment. But it's good read and another wonderful Trollope story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John McWhorter
    • Narrated By John McWhorter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1257)
    Performance
    (974)
    Story
    (972)

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    Cookie says: "Oh the joy!"
    "Very fun, short book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this from one of audible's sale days. It's quirky and fun. It's not earth shattering or terribly important, but it is a romp through the history of our English language, and this makes for an enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (137)

    How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators. Introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.

    Andy says: "deserves seven stars"
    "Simon Winchester tells us the history of America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I could listen to Simon Winchester read his grocery list, so I'm predisposed to like this book. My husband and I listened to him read his story about Krakatoa several years ago and it was wonderful. This book begins with the man charged with the task of measuring out -- by metes and bounds -- the entire western portion of the United States. Even that small story is wonderful. Winchester goes on to tell about the trailblazers of American history, from the Erie Canal to the railroads, the telegraph to the radio, and even up to the internet of today. We read this while on summer driving trips and found we could leave it at any time and pick it up later without missing a beat. It is fascinating and quirky. Just like Mr. Winchester himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Narrated By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (191)

    Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Fans of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was a member of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.

    E says: "Amazing Story, Amazing Voice"
    "Wonderful story read by its author."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am glad that I was introduced to Terry Tempest Williams in this book. It is a wonderful book about womanhood in the Mormon community of Utah. How does a woman communicate when her religious tradition insists that she remain silent? How does this religious tradition live out in the relationship that Mormons have with the land? It helps that the book is read by its author, as her inflection is important in giving you a sense of her true feelings. That is as valuable as the words themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Consequences: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Penelope Lively
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Consequences is a love-story-times-three that opens on the eve of the Second World War, with a chance meeting in St. James' Park, London. Wholly in love, Lorna and Matt leave the city for a cottage in a rural Somerset village. Their intimate life together is shattered when the war begins and by Matt's tragic death in action.

    Amazon Customer says: "Lovely book but not a classic"
    "Lovely book but not a classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been reading through some of the great English authors: Trollope, Dickens, etc. Penelope Lively is not in their league. But she creates a lovely story here, and it is worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Peter Finn, Petra Couvée
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    In May of 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to the Russian countryside to visit the country's most beloved poet, Boris Pasternak. He left concealing the original manuscript of Pasternak's much anticipated first novel, entrusted to him with these words from the author: "This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world." Pasternak knew his novel would never be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as an assault on the 1917 Revolution, so he allowed it to be published in translation all over the world.

    D. Littman says: "wonderful book"
    "Read this to understand Doctor Zhivago and Russia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remember reading in the 1960s that there was great drama in the publishing of Doctor Zhivago in the west, and in Boris Pasternak being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This is the story of that drama. "The Zhivago Affair" will give you a better understanding of the times and how difficult it was for Pasternak to publish an honest book about Russia in the early days of the USSR. We can only dimly imagine how fraught with terror were the lives of Russian intellectuals. This is a wonderful history of the author, the book he wrote, and the consequences of its publication.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Charles Dickens: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Claire Tomalin
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Charles Dickens: A Life gives full measure to Dickens's heroic stature - his huge virtues both as a writer and as a human being - while observing his failings in both respects with an unblinking eye. Renowned literary biographer Claire Tomalin crafts a story worthy of Dickens's own pen, a comedy that turns to tragedy as the very qualities that made him great - his indomitable energy, boldness, imagination, and showmanship - finally destroyed him.

    C. Randall Curb says: "A great biography brilliantly read"
    "Very comprehensive book about Charles Dickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a phenomenal accomplishment of research and compilation. I cannot imagine that anything important about Charles Dickens' life remains unsaid. There is almost too much detail here, but one finishes this book with a very good understanding of the author, the place of each book in his life, and the dynamics of his authorship. You may be surprised that some of his best books are given short shrift, but then, this is about Dickens and not just his books. Very interesting read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Life in Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rebecca Mead
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth - Middlemarch - and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories. Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch,regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage, and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch.

    Doggy Bird says: "A Reader's Pleasure!"
    "A worthy read to better understand Middlemarch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Middlemarch as an audible.com book. This modern-day corollary is a must to understanding it. Rebecca Mead's curiosity about George Eliot, her family relationships, the people in her circle of friends, and the events of her time, all make this an essential complement to that book. I now want to re-read Middlemarch with a new sense of understanding about its characters and their creator.

    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
    Overall
    (520)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (449)

    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"
    "Perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hearing Maya Angelou read her own story is one of the great privileges of an audible.com patron. This is a classic book narrated by the woman who wrote it. Nothing can be better than this wonderful book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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