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Carol

Oak Ridge, NJ, United States | Member Since 2014

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 254 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (96)

    The multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play. Universally accepted as Shakespeare's finest play, we peel back the layers of Hamlet to discover how and why it deserves such a place of honour in world literature.

    Jane says: "Great introduction to Hamlet"
    "Great way to appreciate Shakespeare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These SmartPass dramatizations with a teaching commentator are excellent. There are several others and they are just as good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Don Quixote: Translated by Edith Grossman

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (266)

    Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.

    James says: "My Fourth Try at an Audible Quixote"
    "Best Ever Written AND Read?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read, somewhere, this book called the "best ever written." The performance by Guidall is also of that caliber - his character voices, of Don Quixote, Sanco Panza and all the others, are so individual that you soon forget this is a book. You can forget you are at home, washing dishes, believing instead that you are on a dusty plain in the burning sun, thirsty, with empty saddlebags, listening to the story of an enchanted shepherd. The voices are SO good that sometimes the dramatic pauses, sighs and perils-of-pauline-type purple-prose start in one register and fall down the scale, "Oh-h (high) - oh - oh-h oh-h (low) h-oh," in D-sharp minor. This book can't be rushed.

    At first I was slightly bored by it, thinking OK, it's a classic, it's got to be good, and if it isn't, at least I can say I read it. Then, gradually, the humor started showing through. Now I don't want it to be over (I'm not done yet), I want to enjoy every moment, and I may even listen to it again.

    Moreover (literati), this book is about books from a time when books were television, movies, YouTube, twitter, vines and all social media combined. It's also a history, capturing not only what was going on in Spain in the 16th century but referencing what had been going on in Europe from the 13th to 15th - it could be read side-by-side with Barbara Tuchman's In a Distant Mirror (the two versions of Knight Errantry fit rather well). It's the ideology of heroism about the ideology of heroism, knights saving widows and orphans (Tuchman points out that the reality was more like knights raping, then killing, widows and orphans) and the funny thing is, that same ideology is here with us today in Hollywood movies and other heroic shows. That's the mark of a classic, that it's timeless, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Cervantes managed to poke fun of the 21st century from the distant mirror of the 16th.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (148)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"
    "Thought-provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm glad Kaplan's out there doing all the traveling for me. I also appreciate the historical research and analysis. It's very hard to understand what is going on in the world today, but this book helps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jane Dunn
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality), and divinely ordained kingship.

    Catharina says: "Fantastic book"
    "More Mary than Elizabeth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a life Mary had! It was an insane whirl and makes you glad you aren't a queen. This well-balanced treatment puts her life into the context of Elizabeth's life and makes inevitable the battle between them. It's good, but not as good as Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Night Women

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Marlon James
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (254)

    The story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the 18th century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they - and she - will come to both revere and fear. The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age and reveals the extent of her power, they see her as the key to their plans.

    Emily says: "read now to understand the past"
    "Passionate and Difficult"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Books about slavery are almost always difficult to read, like listening to the history of Jews in WW II. Nevertheless, a strength and beauty came out of this one. The reading is excellent - once you start you can't stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Ann Rinaldi
    • Narrated By Laura Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn’t realize is that the leader of the group, the malicious Ann Putnam, is about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. When Susanna puts the pieces together, she faces a painful choice.

    AngelGirlrn says: "Captivating Story, Interesting Subject Matter"
    "Good Teen Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this in the car on the way to Salem with my daughter, to get the full experience. The book was good; Salem (around Halloween) good for those under 12, perhaps. The definitive book, Salem Possessed, explains it for adults (it was political). I'm so glad I was born in the 20th century . . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Randy O. Frost, Gail Stekeete
    • Narrated By Joe Caron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (437)

    What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper thats ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house?

    JoAnn Marcon says: "Utterly fascinating"
    "Perfect Cocktail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a GREAT book for me because it combined my scholarly interest in truth with my lowbrow enjoyment of the TV show Hoarders. I . . . ahem . . . might hoard a little myself, or at least not be able to throw out railroad ties and broken bottles I dig up in the woods, but I still love to hear about other people who do it WORSE. I wonder if watching / reading about hoarding is a form of hoarding itself . . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Vol. 1

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Julian Elfer
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    This fascinating audiobook is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time.

    leonie says: "This is great, much more than title suggests"
    "Good New History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a new way of looking at history and makes much more sense than Wars, Generals and Regimes - it looks at a whole society and how it functions. It's probably not for everyone because it is scholarly, using the primary source material of comparative folklore, but the overall themes should be shared with everyone, perhaps even in secondary school texts, because it makes the mixture of people in the US much easier to understand. There were four areas in England from which the early settlers care, and we evolved from those cultures, even us latecomers. We adopted the ethics and habits of either the Puritians (northeast), Quakers (mid-Atlantic), aristocracy (south) or northern (Scottish/Irish) borderers (rural mid-south). If this type of history becomes common, we can see how all cultures contributed to America.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Catherine Bailey
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliam's - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining. This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedy's; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.

    Robert says: "A blockbuster"
    "Historic Paradigm-shift"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a new type of history - looking behind the curtain. Instead of reinterpreting monuments of known documents, the author is going one level away from the subject and the view is much, much better. These are histories of society and social trends, of groups instead of individuals. Wonderful book. I want more. I love this new type of history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (431)

    The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and the exquisitely decorated Books of Hours; and on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world of chaos and the plague.

    E. Smakman says: "Gripping, once you get into it"
    "Long but Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second time I've "read" this book and listening to it gives a different dimension. Impressive historian, impressive sourcing and incisive pattern-finding. I'm not a historian but it seems to me there's been a lot of "medieval times were not so backward" going around, like "they discovered X and did Y, etc." but . . . well . . . really?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (619)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
    "Great Capture of Events and Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know if this book counts as journalism, history or whatever, but it was GOOD. It made you feel like you were there (without the agony of BEING there). The author didn't judge the characters or events which was also good. It shows how quickly society can break down even with the best of intentions and how rapidly the dogs of war come to finish the job. Great moral story and warning (which we will probably ignore).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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