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Arbuthnot

Sanford, Maine, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
32
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (678)
    Performance
    (448)
    Story
    (451)

    Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton’s ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors.

    loix says: "A sensory feast"
    "A bitter, narcissistic, complaint"
    Overall

    I found this book hard to finish. This self-absorbed narration about growing up to become a chef is focused on all the hard knocks she confronted, virtually all of which are blamed on others. The author doesn't speak to her mother for 20 years, but we never know why. The "love of her life," who sacrifices much to be with the author, is barely acknowledged. About the spouse who is great with their children, we rarely hear more than negative attributes. I hoped she would have an epiphany at the end that would turn her life around, but no such luck. Why two stars nonetheless? The writing is acceptable (if one doesn't object to constant four-letter words), and is the narrator.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Discover: Music of the Baroque Era

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Clive Unger-Hamilton
    • Narrated By Sebastian Comberti
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel are the three great composers of the Baroque era, though there are many other well-known figures, including Albinoni, Pachelbel, and Scarlatti. This engaging introduction, interspersed liberally with music, shows how the works of these composers graced the courts and churches of Europe from 1600 to 1750. It is a fascinating story.

    Arbuthnot says: "Very nice... except for some music illustrations"
    "Very nice... except for some music illustrations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very short, but still useful, history of Baroque music. The only puzzle is the strange choice of musical examples (less than stellar examples of a composer's work), and their unnecessarily length (5-10 minutes, including many repeats, when 1-2 minutes would be more helpful).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sarah Bakewell
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, perhaps the first recognizably modern individual. A nobleman, public official, and winegrower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them essays, meaning “attempts” or “tries.” He put whatever was in his head into them: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog’s ears twitched when it was dreaming, as well as the religious wars....

    Darwin8u says: "Interesting and in parts Inspired."
    "A wonderful book about how to live one's life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The enthusiastic critical reception of this book is entirely justified, and the audio version is fine. When you're finished, listen to Alain de Botton's highly entertaining book on several of the philosophers who inspired Montaigne, "The Consolations of Philosophy."

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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