Shepherdstown, WV, United States
Yep, I fell in love with this book! With 2 of the Chiefs, with lots of other characters and a town, and especially with a narrator!
Narrator is too weak a description of what Mark Hammer accomplishes with "Chiefs". His voice seems relaxed and unhurried, but it conveys all the heart and soul of a small town called Delano and its residents. He's flat out fabulous!
The book, too, is a real find. I agree with all the reviewers who note that this is obviously a deeply felt, deeply personal work by Stuart Woods. As the section for each chief ended, I grieved and thought the next one couldn't possibly be as good, but each time I was wrong and got just as engulfed in the lives and cares of the next set of people. There are wonderful and sometimes surprising connections among the 3 stories. There's suspense, emotion, and a just-plain-good-old plot in "Chiefs". And a progression through the years which reflects perfectly the changes in all of America during the period from 1920 to 1963.
Everyone can relate to this story and to these people. And that's pretty much what a good book and a good listen should be, isn't it?
This seemed a no-brainer bargain buy - classically French trained, Ethiopian chef from Sweden who ended up in Harlem. Sounded fascinating, and so it turned out to be!
I'm neither great cook nor foodie, but I do watch Food Network shows in spare moments, and I've admired Samuelsson's point of view in his various contests and food shows. Turns out he's just as thoughtful and intelligent as he appears on TV.
Nothing is better than a memoir where the author actually has something to say - with honesty and humility. Sometimes our "American Dream" stories get glossed over, without revealing the price that almost always has to be paid for success in business. Samuelsson tells his own interesting life-so-far story without a lot of psychological self-analysis, but with awareness of his flaws - and with refreshing condor and lack of self pity. The people in his life ring true, and the reader/listener finds him/herself taking an interest in each one of them.
Must say I look forward to hearing what he has to say later on in his life. This is a memoir with a difference and well worth the time.
Now this is something fun and different from the venerable "Great Courses." I love them, but they tend to be considerably longer and more scholarly than "Language A to Z".
Not that Professor McWhorter doesn't know his stuff. He is a speaker who helps put the "great" in these courses! I've listened to more than one of his audios and really respect his knowledge and teaching ability.
Whether or not you are interested in linguistics, I would recommend listening to this course. It goes by in a minute (every lecture is only 15 of them!), and there's lots of pop culture references and interesting revelations about the origins of some of our strangest sayings.
This is a great highway listen - and an enjoyable way to learn something in 15 minutes!
Thank you, Charles Todd for this wonderful gift! It's a glimpse of the strong, confident, happy Ian Rutledge we know must have existed before the ravages of war.
Ian is planning his marriage to the young and self-absorbed Jean while becoming more and more involved in an unusual case. The perpetrator is diabolical, and Ian must convince himself and others in law enforcement that his suspicions are real. There's a lot of darting about the countryside and putting together clues from churchyards and archives, but the story emerges in a most intriguing way. Inspector Bowles is just as contrary and vindictive as he will later be, and we get glimpses of Ian's sister and aunt in earlier, more carefree days.
There is, however, another 'villain' in this piece. Just as menacing as any criminal, WWI is relentlessly in the background. Friends and colleagues are already marching off with enthusiasm to serve their country, and the knowledge that Ian Rutledge will soon follow - and will pay dearly - is painful to the listener/reader . It all makes for a bittersweet experience but one which this series fan really appreciates!
I listened to the first three books in this series pretty quickly and enjoyed the writing and the characters. Simon Serrailler and his family are full of surprises and offer real depth to the works. In this book, the family dynamic changes considerably, setting up lots of possibilities for future revelations.
"The Risk of Darkness", I think, has at least one two many plotlines - one in particular could easily have been eliminated altogether without damaging the overall story. Hill is a very serious writer - the gloom factor is pretty high, even for readers who don't much care for a lot of humor in mysteries. In this listen, it's a bit of overkill.
This was satisfying in that some questions from earlier books are answered. So, despite being a bit less impressed by this addition to the series, I am willing to continue to the 4th book - but I need a little break before the plunge.
Steven Pacey is one of the main reasons for pursuing the Simon Serrailler series - his narration is fantastic.
A recent piece in the New York Times Book Review crime section led me to this book. Who could resist an Aussie modern Gothic Suspense/Romance with a reversal of characters?
It's all there - the old mansion, dark hallways with locked doors; there's even an attic full of secrets! But, in "Sweet Damage", the brooding resident is a young woman, and the 'innocent' who happens into situation is a surfer dude!
The setting is modern-day Sydney, the characters have updated issues and phobias, and the romance is a bit hotter than in most traditional Gothic novels. The twists and turns of plot and the surprises keep you listening and are a lot of fun to follow. Dense characters are revealed slowly, and that old sense of suspense, menace, and unanswered questions remains until the end.
Craig Baldwin has a slight accent - the American reader can easily understand him, but there's an appropriate hint of Australia in his voice.
I liked this a lot.
After reading the first book in this series, I had a few reservations. This second entry pretty much resolved all that.
The main character, Simon Serrailler, is much more in evidence here. He turns out to be a complex and interesting personality - frustratingly reserved, uncommunicative and distant; but, at the same time, a caring boss, brother, uncle and son. He and the other characters keep you interested, and the plot is an involving one.
Some reviewers have noted that the resolutions of Susan Hill's plot lines are not very satisfying for many mystery fans. I'd say that her characters and the police actions in the books may rather reflect much of the true nature of police investigations and human motives.
Steven Pacey, like all the best narrators, isn't a distracting performer. Instead, he just quietly personifies all the characters and delivers a natural and comfortable reading. Hard to beat that!
I'm pleased to find this series. Unusual, yes, unexpected, yes. But, from what's in "The Various Haunts of Men," it seems to me that Susan Hill can take her place among the elite of mystery writers. There's nothing cozy or formula about this story, but it's thoughtful, serious about human nature, and it feels true. I was truly hooked and moved by the characters and the emotion of the story.
Other reviews have mentioned the relatively short amount of time actually devoted to the man who is supposedly the "hero" of this series, Simon Serrailler. Let's just say that this book is enough to keep me moving forward in the series to find out more. And I'm happy to be doing so with this wonderful narrator, Steven Pacey.
What happens when a bunch of academic historians actually get the opportunity to change history? Well, I think you can imagine that the results are not what they expected - and not necessarily of benefit to the present and future.
This is an often fascinating look at alternative histories, of the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" variety. There's lots of action and some quirky and interesting characters in both the past and present sections of the book. For time travel genre fans, it's a real winner with excellent narration.
If, like me, you tend to find yourself asking too many questions and thinking too many "but"s, just remember to suspend that gut disbelief in the whole concept - you'll have a good time inside "Time and Time Again"!
This is a fascinating listen! You might think map collectors and dealers just couldn't be all that interesting, but you would be wrong.
Anyone who has poured over a map on the fly leaves of a book or noticed the beauty of a colorful map will appreciate the subject matter here. There's a lot of surprisingly enlightening information about the history and artistry of map making around the world. Listening while on road trips, my husband and I found ourselves learning a lot and enjoying the process.
But this is not a book just about maps. It's primarily about people and their odd, odd ways. Forbes Smiley is the map collector, student, dealer, and, finally, thief. He's a complicated man - one who can love maps and the libraries which harbor them while, at the same time, consistently stealing for personal gain from the institutions and people who trust him.
It's also about the incredible lack of records and security in rare book libraries and archives. About the defensiveness of university and public library officials who fear losing prospective donations so much that they fail to report thefts from their collections. About collectors and dealers who eagerly snap up maps which they well know may be stolen. About the distinction between "fine art" and these lovely antique maps and atlases - and the discrepancy between punishments for criminals involved in stealing them.
This book is about a lot. I think just about anyone will like it!
Most of Georgette Heyer's best known romances are set in the fairly sedate English Regency period at the beginning of the 19th century, but "The Masqueraders" takes place a couple of generations before that. The Hanoverian King George I has recently defeated the Stuart line of Bonny Prince Charles, so the politics are more unsettled and dangerous at this point in time. The French Revolution is 50 years in the future, so English aristocrats still emulate their continental counterparts in lavish dress, speech, and exaggerated manners. Duels are common and pretty much tolerated in a fairly permissive society.
Add to this exotic setting a couple of young adventurers, Prudence and Robin, who assume gender-bending disguises to obscure their politically- and socially-suspect past. Confused prospective lovers, a couple of duels and carriage chases, and an oh-so-eccentric father add complications and hijinks galore.
The story and characters are alternately charming and frustrating, as is the somewhat antiquated language assumed by the author. I believe that Ruth Sillers does a wonderful job of presenting this hodgepodge of French-accented and mannered English without often resorting to an overly arch tone.
I still prefer the Regencies, but "The Masqueraders" does offer some memorable characters, stirring action sequences, and a change in style and tone.
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