I enjoyed this book for the most part. Nicola Barber's performance was spectacular, and Qanta Ahmed's observational skills - crucial for a physician - are on full display. I could feel the oppressive heat, sense the culture shock, and awed by her description of her Haj experience. It is, however, somewhat lost in brand-name-dropping (particularly in the first half). Once you get past that, it is a very important enlightening book, giving faces and names to "invisible" women in an uncomfortable reality of Saudi Arabia.
The description of the Haj. I was blown away by such a mass amount of people, beautiful buildings, stones, waters, prayers... it was incredibly moving.
I did enjoy this book. The first half has a lot of brand name dropping - Mercedes, Rolex, etc. - and it gets a little bit grating. However, that aside, I will never forget this book, and will likely read it again.
Qanta is a moderate Muslim who is thrown into a kingdom where women are veiled, and the veiling of Muslims is definitely described as a prison. Through two years, she learns what women - and by extension men - endure in the Saudi kingdom. She is blunt, to the point, observant, giving a realism seldom viewed. Unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel, Nomad), Qanta's Muslim faith remains intact, even though extremism as witnessed in Saudi Arabia does not persuade her to think as many do there, or to become resigned to her fate.
Worth buying on sale, or even for its own cash value; I wouldn't spend a credit on it, but that's just me.
Definitely! For years I have been curious about Jonestown - more about the people who followed Jim Jones to their deaths than about the man himself. A couple of years back I read Julia Scheeres' "A Thousand Lives" (a brilliant book in its own right), a thorough journalistic look at Jones and his followers. Deborah Layton laid herself bare in "Seductive Poison," detailing how she herself got drawn in to Jones' orbit, her rise to power in Peoples' Temple, her disillusion, escape, and putting her life back together.
I must also say that Kathe Mazur's performance was superb! Her depiction of Jones - in either his caring or brutal persona - was chilling and believable. Deborah's fear, sorrow, and fumbling are portrayed realistically.
it is a great companion piece to "A Thousand Lives". ATL is more journalistic and deals more with the suicides themselves; "Seductive Poison" is more personal, about one woman's own journey of self-discovery and deprogramming. But these together and you have a comprehensive look at Jonestown!
Her performance was superb here and turned a great memoir into a terrific audiobook
If you have any interest in Jonestown specifically, or indoctrination in general, or if you like to read about resilience against impossible odds, read this book!
The book, yes! I loved Elizabeth Wein's companion to this, "Code Name Verity". Even Maddie makes appearances in both books... But as an audiobook, I don't think I would recommend it. Sasha Pick has a cartoonish voice for Rosia, which made me want to cover my ears in protest. And her German and French pronunciations are also off.
It did. As an American narrator, I did enjoy Sasha Pick, but for foreign accents (French, Polish) and Rosia's character in particular, I didn't enjoy so much.
Read the book, skip the audio, unless you can get this book on sale like I did.
I have always been fascinated by Jonestown. What would cause people to give up their lives, minds and bodies to this man? At first, I thought this book was well-rounded and informative, but the narration was flat, with mispronounced words (possibly due to misspellings in the printed text?) and graphic sexual scenes that seemed to be only there for shock value.
I read Julia Scheeres' "A Thousand Lives" and plan on reading "Seductive Poison", which I hope will bring humanity to this tragedy.
It actually did. But 12 hours of slogging through this text just didn't do it for me, especially with this flat (not monotone, just flat) performance.
Definitely! I loved both the author and the narrator! They were both engaging, poignant and humorous in the right spots. I loved it
The whole thing was a tgerrific read about identity, race, family, and perceptoin.
I have not. My quibble with his performance is less about his narration and more about the post-production. The narrator was very good, but switches in audio quality - even mid-sentence - became incredibly distracting to an audiophile with a good set of headphones...
Both! I laughed out loud in some places, and cried at some moving moments.
This book is less about Lev's journey to find the people who assisted him as a child, and more about his experiences as a refugee, then an immigrant; as a Jew and an anti-Semite. While this was not a bad thing, the publisher's description talks more about his journey to locate the people who assisted him.
Terrific read, either way!
I would. It is the story of the Girls who lived in and passed through Room 28 at a concentration camp during WWII. It is both a hard book to read and a testament to the power of youth struggling to keep their innocence and having to grow up beyond their years.
I liked many of the characters. They were painted primarily with humanity and complexity.
I have! This is a good performance in general and for Toren in particular
There were many. It has several moving portions, both in their sadness and in their hope.
I learned many things in reading this book. I had NO idea that the Germans created certain concentration camps to act as the face of Jewish ghettos. Not all camps were houses of horror, but some were "better" than others.
What a moving testament to youth, innocence, friendship and hope!
I enjoyed the intertwining stories, what made these two men take the paths they did.
It actually made me uncomfortable. What brought these men to this place? What are their families like now? While I cannot say that I would have made the decisions Rais did, I understand the place he came from. My Christian faith also extols forgiveness.
This is an important read. It does ask more questions than it answers, but I loved it for its messiness and non-preachy look at some pretty intense topics - nature vs. nurture, religion, terrorism, patriotism...
Well worth your time and credit!
I loved the realism of this book. The Sobiech family tackled Zach's illness with realism, with their anger and pain and hope. It was so beautiful that I pulled up the songs and videos on Youtube.
Amber Quick embodied Laura Sobiech. Her voice is very similar, and while her dialogue is not strong, it isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I almost did! It is emotional and gripping, a family coming to terms with a child, a brother, a friend, who is going to die, but chooses to live his life fully, to use music as a way to connect with his friends and family. No one expected the story Zach's life and music would have, with its raw, unrefined power. I enjoyed this book!
I would have liked to have "Clouds"" in particular as a song along the book, but this is a minor quibble in an emotional roller-coaster that was not without hope.
It is well worth watching the My Last Days videos on Youtube, which complement the lasting legacy of this close, real, strong family.
Well worth the time and credit.
When Jang Jin-Sung went back to his home town and saw how everyday Koreans were living. It was so hard to read about a privileged man being shown a side of his country so openly threatening to its people.
I haven't. He was a good narrator, but some of his dialogue had this loud gravelly quality that was quite obnoxious. But overall it was a good performance
An important look at one man's coming to terms with his country and his leader, how he survived, both alone and aided by others.
I hope he writes a subsequent book about his life after the escape.
I enjoyed this book. The coming-of-age of the author as she tries to understand why her grandparents refused to speak to each other for over 50 years was both moving and unique. I laughed and cried in places, and loved that the author narrated this book herself. I could picture Both of Miranda's grandparents, their feisty desire for her to both remember and let go, to love and to hold at arm's length. The dilapidated house was a terrific symbol of hope, of ruin, of renewal and disappointment.
A well-written, well-read biography, both of the author and of her grandparents themselves.
I enjoyed this book by Ann Rule. She did a good job putting the pieces together and kept me interested, even though I pretty much knew what happened and why. The ending was disappointed, but that wasn't Ms. Rule's fault.
Barbara Caruso did an excellent job narrationg this book; she is normally a hit-or-miss narrator, but this one was well-narrated.
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